‘A Solution To Everything’ is the debut album by the band Model Village, who hail from Cambridge and London. An LP compiled from singles, splits and compilations, it’s an altogether pleasant record of jangly folk pop along the lines of Belle & Sebastian, Dry The River and Emmy The Great. You can hear some of the nuances of 70s pop, comparable to Joni Mitchell and early Fleetwood Mac, but a slick modern production on songs such as ‘Sweets’ keeps the record firmly rooted in the present. They combine sweet boy-girl harmonies and lilting melodies with often downbeat, introspective lyrics, echoing a technique employed by Laura Marling, whose contemporary folk is in a similar vein.
Listening to ‘A Solution To Everything’ is enjoyable and it’s easy on the ear. Maybe it’s the grunge fan in me, but I really want to hear a less polished sound. The modern production can act against the music in this respect - although it distances the music from a more 70s sound that might make it feel dated, it gives a slightly cold sheen to the sound. The late Neil Young inspired guitar on ‘Dog Watches’ nearly reaches this rawness but there is still a level of texture I’m constantly searching for. In places, the album veers into the radio-friendly, sing-along breed of folk pop championed by Mumford and Sons and Frank Turner. Songs like ‘2003’ are fun if you’re into that sort of thing, but I’ll go back to the early Neil Young any day. I’m particularly sceptical when it comes to ‘Next Xmas’, the Christmas song which is not terrible (as Christmas songs go) but isn’t really necessary - whether it’s late July or December 24th.
Overall, ‘A Solution To Everything’ is a nice, listener-friendly record. Although it lacks a little depth and substance, it makes for agreeable (if forgettable) listening.
Reviewed by: Ayla Ansari