A flashback to pop melodicism wholly removed from rock influence, the catchy simplicity and soft edges of this New York band's debut album, Realistic, and its five-song EP Lately (both released on Seed) parallel the synth-washed pop grandeur of England's Saint Etienne: both acts clearly revel in sunny, weightless melodies like the ones Petula Clark used to sing. Dominique Durand's appealingly troubled pronunciation of English--like that of Stereolab's French chanteuse Laetitia Sadier--adds to the breezy artifice. Guitarist Andy Chase lifts the strummy, repetitive figures that wrapped around Lou Reed's spare melodies on The Velvet Underground, albeit without a trace of the underlying tension that transported VU to a higher level. Ivy make nice, hummable, and overtly gentle pop tunes. Nothing more, little less. Friday, 8:30 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 525-2508. Saturday, 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Lisa Peardon.