Premiere – The Sunset Beach Hut – ex-blurst-ist

There should be a warning attached to the debut EP from Shropshire indie-pop quartet The Sunset Beach Hut: “Caution: slap on some sun cream and fix yourself a cocktail before pressing play.”

Because ‘ex-blurst-ist’ is the sound of the summer.

Singles ‘twenty//25\\five’ and ‘funk’ earlier this year gave a taster, with their Bombay Bicycle Club-inspired guitar riffs, ice-cold pop melodies and infectious, sun-kissed hooks. The full, four-track EP adds new songs ‘the:saint’ and ‘allthetime’, and it’s a powerful statement of intent from the band.

After some storming early singles in 2018 caught the eye of BBC Introducing – including ‘Bury’, which has racked up over 30,000 Spotify streams – they took a break from releasing new music last year and focused on playing live, including a sold-out headline show at Birmingham’s O2 Academy 3.

They’re back with a vengeance with ‘ex-blurst-ist’.

Aphra Smith’s vocals summon the spirit of St Vincent and Lana Del Ray – and Laura Marling in full-on party mode. All that live experience has locked the band – Smith, Ben Thomas on guitar, Luke McCrohon on bass and Matty George on drums – into a serious, ready-for-action groove.

“I came to dance my thoughts away,” Aphra Smith sings on twenty//25\\five as dream-pop guitars chime into the sunset. I suggest you whack this EP on and follow her lead.

Jamie Summerfield