At its most basic, Slothpop's sound is restrained Indie Pop. The arrangements are tempered and utilitarian in design, the melodies are sweetly sonorous but not overbearing and instruments move in and out with clockwork care. Nothing sounds like it was spawned on the fly. The overarching minimalism also means that you have to dig around for nuance and listen intently to soak it in. Slothpop's sound tends to not come to you; you have to get closer to it.
Even with that interest in precision, the band’s sound never feels lifeless.
Slothpop's most prominent tool is vocalist Kristin Newborn's voice — a multi-hued, breathy thing that resembles the voices of Regina Spektor and Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis. Newborn can keep her tone slow and bare, ratchet it up to where it’s on the verge of a warble or lean in on her voice like it's almost about to crack and pull back at the last moment. Lauren Eison is a nimble vocal complement, one that's especially good for harmonizing. Instrumentally, all the strings shine, retaining a clean glow. Distortion and feedback are akin to ghosts.
Over the handful of press published over Slothpop's young career, “dreamy” and other variations of the word frequently pop up in descriptions. There's definite merit to that idea, as the sextet's work is kind enough to cradle you and make you a feel bit mischievous, but it's not exactly going to toss you into nightmare territory.
SLOTHPOP plays a free show Wednesday at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine.