Minden - Sweet, Simple Things
There's a subtle sexuality that penetrates Minden's saccharine indie pop. Erotic themes of bondage and role playing juxtapose with frontman Casey Burge's lighter subjects, such as searching for authenticity while selecting the right soda pop — it's all enough to leave one wiping his brow and licking her lips.
On the Portland quintet's new album Sweet, Simple Things, Burge and his band — Lia Gist (vocals), James Taylor (guitar), Evan Houston (bass), Ryan Johnson (drums), Dan Talmadge (keys) and Papi Fimbres (percussion) — hone an evocative collection of smooth and danceable tunes, indulging in confectionary hooks laid over funky grooves. The nine song LP is delicious in its oddity, befitting feel good moments from West Coast summers to Parisian night clubs.
There are elements of indie-pop's modern legacy favorites, evoking Phoenix, Peter, Bjorn & John and Miike Snow, or contemporaries such as Unknown Mortal Orchestra or Ariel Pink, but Minden widely pull influence from far less expected artists: Azymuth on the album's rhythms and genre-crossing, Dâm-Funk and his modern funk boogie, and classic soul-funk heroes like Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, and Bill Withers whose vibes carry on throughout. But at the core, the songwriting is still pure, pop-rock bliss with its inescapable influences running from the Beatles to Prefab Sprout.