Shrug Life: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – loaded with symbols and sharp lyrics
Little L Records
Both their band name and the title of their debut album might suggest that Shrug Life are a band percolating in apathy, but don’t be fooled. The Dublin trio have a homespun kind of charisma, but also some sharp lyrics that poke and prod at the clamour of modern life – such as the droll First World Problems and their take on Ireland’s abortion laws in Your Body. Frontman Danny Carroll’s nasal croon sits well with their twee indie-pop style, which references bands like Orange Juice (Making Progress) and albums like Paul Simon’s Graceland (Never Bored), while their enjoyably disordered tussle of guitar, bass and drums builds to comparative rowdiness on Free Bird II. It’s a little too static in places, but its overall tone just about lands on the right side of nudge-nudge-wink-wink cleverness.