Middle Class Cigars (Digital)

Weaving a sound well beyond the confines of their bedroom pop beginnings, Singapore-based trio Sobs captures an awkward yet endearing introversion, their music replete with playful melodies that front a dream pop backdrop. Unassuming vocals adorn crisp layers of jangling guitars that embody a kitsch, yet undeniably relatable charm, reminiscent of the likes of Alvvays, Night Flowers, Fazerdaze, Japanese Breakfast and Frankie Cosmos.

For those who have ever wished for an endless summer, the city-island where Sobs hail from might seem like a dream home. Well-known for its bright blue skies and lush greenery all year round, Singapore could easily be mistaken for an eternally sun-soaked paradise. But behind the travel ads lie an unpleasant truth: it rains a whole lot.

Placed in that context, Sobs’ debut full-length Telltale Signs makes a whole lot more sense. Though its eight tracks glow with irresistibly upbeat melodies that brighten and enliven, such pop sensibilities belie the subtle melancholy that looms darkly over the entire record. From that perspective, the urgency of the upfront guitar lines seem less like peppy vivacity than restless anxiety; amidst the delectable swirl of 90’s indie pop stylings, the despair begins to unravel.