What is Popvert? It's Jose "Pepvert" Tillan, the Latin music industry player responsible for mentoring Nil Lara and coordinating MTV Latin America's Unplugged series; Volumen Cero guitarist Marthin Chan; and former Rocking Horse Winner vocalist Jolie Lindholm.
Popvert is not a new band, though, but a onetime collaboration between the trio. Pepvert handles most of the production, while Chan plays guitar and keyboards and Lindholm sings. The resulting Drive Thru Happiness EP has an appropriately breezy quality. Its songs are charming and off-kilter, thanks to their genesis in an unhurried, pressure-free environment.
Of the five tunes on the EP, the opener, "The Big Show," is the strongest. Chan plays a big part in the song's success, thanks to the jangly guitars that fly along at a rocking, midtempo pace. Over all this, Lindholm coos sweetly, "You could find forgiveness," evoking winsome melancholia. The second cut, "Until The End of Time," is a heavier number, with a drum machine that pounds beneath Lindholm's make-up-to-break-up tale.
Even though Drive Thru Happiness is an English-language project, it has the hallmarks of the polished Latin rock sound Pepvert and Volumen Cero are best known for. Its full-bodied instrumentation bears resemblance to Eighties-style modern rock and would sound great on the radio. Appropriately, the trio pay homage to the New Wave with "Electricity," an OMD cover on which Lindholm sings the hook in an eerie vocoder voice.
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