The songwriting duo known as These Curious Thoughts is a Trans-Atlantic collaboration between Sean Dunlop and Jamie Radford from Detroit and London, respectively. The two met through a musician’s web site and the nature of their international friendship and work together began in earnest. Radford pens lyrics, which are then emailed to Dunlop’s home studio where the music is ironed out. Think of a digital version of how The Postal Service came together. Their fifth track under their working name, What is it, and how did it get in there, is a five-track dynamo of high-octane Alt/Indie songs.
The slightly autobiographically named “Lead Balloon” opens the EP with jangle electric guitar melody, a steady line of bass thumps and accordion fills. Electric alongside the lyrical delivery are the main drivers of this track and were all the tracks not available for individual download (they are) this would surely emerge as the frontrunner for album single. The keys-driven “Because She is Love” opens demurely to key and vocal tandem before surrendering to the full instrumentation at around the midpoint. A bit of ready-made information reveals this one to be a love-based rocker written for Radford’s wife. The rock element leads this one on through to a key, bass and percussion outro. “John Wayne” is perhaps the most interesting track on the album and highlights Radford’s occasional penchant for eclectic lyrical matter. Within the bounds of the songs, we see the Hollywood namesake as brother to Batman (Bruce Wayne). Again, once you get past the fictional nature of the track the musicality plays out in and equally eclectic pace with slight instrumentation in the background. Melodic electric picking and soaring riff lead this one through to the track culmination.
These Curious Thoughts remind me a lot of The Postal Service. Not only through the genesis of their music but across several different facets. They certainly have an original sound and enough nuanced idiosyncrasies to make them stand alone even with the broad scope of the genre I would place them in. The musicality is simplistic enough to not muddle said sound, but allows the dup to play to their individual strengths and then bring them together in one final project. I like this one.