Album Review: Loose Tooth – Keep Up

Sumptuous pop bathed in melodic sunshine and dark lyrics. A wonderful debut!

The Milk! Records stable seems to be growing in statue since mega-star Courtney Barnett started the label in 2012. And the talent pool is considerable, with both Cloher and Barnett producing their best work with their respective recent albums.

The next big thing is Loose Tooth, a sumptuous sounding three piece from Melbourne, with a knack for hooks, melodies, and short songs featuring jangly guitars, Lindy Morrison style drumming and sugar coated harmonies. First impressions have the band sounding like a mix of early 80’s indie band Romeo Void, with a touch of The Velvet Underground, The Go-Betweens and even The Chills, but comparisons to other bands would distract from the glorious pop contained in their first LP Keep Up. They sound from a different era, but have a timelessness that makes them feel so now.

Loose Tooth consist of Etta Curry (drums, vocals), Luc Dawson (bass, vocals, guitar, keys), and Nellie Jackson (guitar, vocals) – Etta and Nellie formed the band, with Luc coming later. Together the three musicians bring a sense of tightness and vitalness to their compositions. From the opening exuberance of millennial indecision on ‘Keep On’, to the dreaminess of ‘Asteroid’ a song that has Dawson on front vocals reflecting on an old friendship which has gone awry and asks, “why can’t we just relax?”, to dealing with capitalism or commercialism on ‘Butterknife’ with the catchy line “it’s a high-rise kind of life”. Songs capturing the “slings and arrows” of relationship break-ups and subsequent aftermath all meshed in brilliant pop.

The confidence in their playing, contrasting songwriting styles and talent for identifying a honey coated hook, makes this album interesting – the melodies soaked in sunshine belying the darkness in lyric content.

A wonderful debut and a band to watch – with a debut so good, the next chapter of Loose Tooth will be something to anticipate.


Loose Tooth’s album Keep Up is out now.

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