Popup - A Time and a Place (4 stars)

Popup - A Time and a Place

(Art Goes Pop/SWG3)


If it has felt like a long time coming for Popup’s debut long player to land in our arms then maybe it’s because we’ve been aware of them being damn good from very early on. Furious early demos, bursting with barely contained energy, recorded the spittle-strafed epithets shot from Damian Gilhooly’s lips, setting the bar high early on, and as a slow trickle of songs suggested, considerable promise. For A Time and a Place they’ve come good on that promise.

The musical reference points are plentiful but it points to a certain romance and freewheeling – Arab Strap in their fondness for a wandering narrative, The Delagados’ skill with a delicate image and Sons and Daughters’ nous for a rollicking driving beat. At the same time, however, their sound is all their own.

At points wistful, warming and biting, Popup sound like indie music from back when indie meant music made by intense young men and women whose fondness for a trebly guitar sound was second only to their taste for a confessional lyric; music made for its own sake regardless of the potential for global stardom. This band are the real deal, trading in blunt confessionals instead of vast terrace chants.

All we ever want from our pop music is a connection, someone who understands the pain or pleasure in our predicament, our hopes, our dreams, and perhaps most importantly, our failures. We want someone who can convey our hurt in a way that makes us not sound like a clown. Look no further.

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