The Motifs
Cross Paths
Knock Your Socks Off Records
****

The Motifs write sugar-dusted, bite-sized pop that’s engineered to make you want seconds. On
Cross Paths, the Melbourne band offer confections that give you a fizzy rush (“Backwards”, “Envelopes”) and ice-frosted numbers that have a tang of wist and melancholy (“Turn Me”). This record has an ingredients list that’s meant to charge your appetite for indie-pop like Camera Obscura, The Crayon Fields and even the pastel-coloured gloom of early Belle and Sebastian. Cross Paths contains a liberal sprinkling of synths, handclaps, glockenspiels, hushed harmonies and acoustic strums, all teamed with Alexis Hall’s peppermint-cool vocals. There are endearing lyrics about buying ‘icicles’ at the Asian grocery, preferring the company of a book and the importance of umlauts (“you’re not the same, without the dots above your name”). With most songs barely two minutes long, this brilliant album has the short, buzzy joy of sherbet bursting in your mouth.

Lee Tran Lam

Rolling Stone, September 2008