Standard Fare, Out of Sight, Out of Town
Witty tales of dead-end jobs and romantic missteps
In “Fifteen,” on their 2010 debut The Noyelle Beat, Sheffield trio Standard Fare sang about being 22 and not knowing what to do. On the band’s sophomore effort Out of Sight, Out of Town, they talk about mindless day jobs, crushed hopes and being “destined to die unknown.” Bassist-vocalist Emma Kupa, guitarst-vocalist Dan How and drummer Andy Beswick have carved out a space alongside like-minded British indiepop acts Los Campesinos! and Allo Darlin’, with songs that will resonate with fellow 20-somethings trying to figure their lives out through dead-end jobs and romantic missteps. Among the best tracks is “Call Me Up,” a hilarious but probably-relatable number about a post-nightclub hookup (“I never said you weren’t hot, it’s just that all this drinking does these things to me,” sing How and Kupa). The rest of the set finds them musing on older women (“Older Women” — a stark contrast to “Fifteen,” the last album’s tale of lusting after and going home with a teenager), reconnecting with a love interest from teenage years (“Kicking Puddles”), and the nervousness of starting a new relationship (“051107″). It’s not a musical change from their first LP — clean, bouncy guitars, quick, punchy bass lines, occasional use of horns or strings, and Kupa and How’s back-and-forth vocals — but it’s a solid display of pop hooks and quick wit.