I first encountered Oh Atoms at the tail end of last year courtesy of the single ‘Sugar Mouse’ and as a consequence of said single I was somewhat smitten. I expected the multi instrumental duo of Gwen Cheeseman and Marc Withecomb to be capable of delivering so much more than the odd lyrically wry few minutes here and there and while they didn’t necessarily remain at the forefront of my thoughts it has to be said that I did consider an album release from them as something of promise.
The album ‘You Can’t See The Stars From Here’ leaves me with something of a conundrum, twelve songs of gentle folk pop highlighting their talents as musicians and writers, The Guardian calls them ‘the folk Ting Tings’. I would call them the better medicated son and daughter of Belle & Sebastian.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the songs on offer here, each and everyone has something to please even the hardest hearted listener. Yet somehow when you listen to the album as a whole there is something about the collection that tends to make me bristle somewhat. You can quite easily overdose on this kind of stuff, it can be a little twee and there’s something in the participants that seems to say ‘ooh aren’t we clever’ which can get on my nerves.
It’s a fine line they straddle between good pop folk songs and overdosing the listener on their ‘twee sugary goodness’. What I would say is by all means buy the album, but don’t listen to it all at once.