Headcount Records – July 28th

From the thumping drums that usher in Fake Laugh’s debut album, you could be forgiven for momentarily expecting this to be something of a heavy affair. But from the very first jangly strum of guitar, it’s clear that it was but a brief moment of deception at the start of eleven altogether more easy-going tracks.

Berlin-born, London-based Kamran Khan’s music is a whole lot more sincere than the kind expression with which he shares his pseudonym. Sharp, honest and direct, it’s dropping at a rather apt time of year – well, at least if the English weather behaves itself. Of course, the beach-pop sound is nothing new – indeed, lyrics about wanting to “move by the sea” such as on ‘Freely’ are somewhat stereotypical of the genre – but it’s always welcome nonetheless.

That doesn’t quite tell the whole story though. Fake Laugh may recall the aforementioned musical style on an instrumental level, and there’s a certain wooziness to Khan’s vocals, but it’s without any of the usual grating mumbling and general incoherence. Perhaps that comes with living in the city – and perhaps it would be wrong to call this beach pop after all. Whatever it truly is, it’s a suitably pleasant and chilled accompaniment to the season.

Buy: Fake Laugh – Fake Laugh

Live: Rough Trade East, 1st August