Pura Vida, Sundae

Local Indie Rock band Pura Vida have released their latest E.P. featuring their latest single Sundae.

By George Alexander Moss.

Pura Vida are fresh faces to the music industry, having been around for less than a year and already making ripples with their new E.P. The band have established a solid foundation in Sundae and have recently been featured on BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 6. Though they are currently searching for their own place in the heavily crowded Music industry, it becomes immediately clear that this project will create a quirky niche for them. The offering features four distinct tracks; Sundae (album and radio edits), with additional B-sides in the form of Pinstripe and Backroad.

The E.P. is bookended by both edits of Sundae. Like many songs, the track details a relationship with strife, but it’s the indie vibes that allow the song to beat along to a place of originality. Of course, this is what is particularly special about a début E.P. – it’s a chance to experiment and discover a uniquely melodic identity. Pura Vida execute a graceful landing in this, concisely communicating to listeners what they’re about with Sundae. Though the album edit runs at 5:45 minutes, not a single second is wasted and it fits a summer song vibe easily. Furthermore, Tom Hogan’s vocals particularly come to prominence in both edits. His range is akin to that of the Brandon Flowers from The Killers; chilled and resonant. The track doesn’t bumble along aimlessly, instead twisting and turning with fluid control.

Spring boarding off the more melancholic notes of Sundae, the second track listed is b-side Pinstripe. It carries with it a sense of vigour and gusto, carried along by the gorgeous drum work of Tom Ansell. The drum beat is the bone structure of the spunky song, holding everything else together and directing the abrupt progressions in the transitioning tune. Pinstripe is more upbeat than Sundae with a shorter playtime, working like a shot of adrenaline and giving the E.P. a real flare. The b-side demonstrates that Pura Vida are not a steady one-note tribute band, but are keen to evolve their sound and branch out. Coupled with the great song comes enormous potential, teasing a bright future for their music.

   Backroads is third in line, carrying more sombre undercurrents. There’s some nuanced guitar work from Jack Ledger and Piers Mansell on bass. This is an impressive feat, as no member takes a back seat on the E.P. and each avenue of the band is fully flourished all within only four tunes. Backroads opens with skilled strumming for the first half minute, tonally setting up a harrowing narrative venture that vocals and drumming add flavour too. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the track, and the ending guitar solos work particularly well in pumping the tunes full of adrenaline before crashing out in style. Moreover, Backroads holds up to repeated listening very well – a sure sign of good song writing and production.

Rounding out Pura Vida’s E.P. is the Sundae radio edit. It cuts out much of the instrumental extravagance of its album iteration, sooner employing vocals where slick guitar solos and killer drumming had stood place in the full version. These are the only discernible differences and it’s a bit of a shame that a new song didn’t take its place. However, though it’s a repeated track Sundae also happens to be our favourite, and so this gripe is certainly not a deal breaker. The next E.P. can’t come soon enough!