Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Dec. 24, 2010
For all its youthful restlessness and exuberance, Marmalakes' debut EP carries a developed eye for detail and ear for nuance. A welcome injection of vigor to the folk-pop fold, the local trio keeps the pace light and lively behind ganged harmonies, with winding lyricism flickering through scenes like Polaroid flashes. Opener "(A Scene Through) Cellophane" touches on the territory of Page France, while "Vittoria" bursts with an anthemic abandon. The EP marvels in fits of alliteration, from the rushing clatter of "Conversation" to the calming, Low Anthem lull of "Cast On." "Ode to Johnnie Martin" carries just enough weariness to suggest Marmalakes can be as serious as they are clever without sacrificing an underlying charm, and closer "Hands Alone in the House" weaves its mystical narrative atop an intensely loping rhythm that crumbles into cathartic howls. Marmalakes may yet be young, but Wonder Winds is a smart and infectious first offering.