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The Leftover Cuties jumped right into my heart from the second their album Places To Go started. They are as their name says, they are a cute band, but they are also truly unique and very sophisticated. The vintage jazz-pop showcased by the band jumps right through the headphones and warms you up. The group consists of the silky smooth vocals of Shirli McAllen, the strolling up-right bass of Ryan Feves, the soft beat of the brushed drums from Stuart Johnson, the prominent multi-instrumental sounds of accordion and horns of Mike Bolger, and the featured bright strums of the ukulele from Austin Nicholson. All together the Leftover Cuties create the perfect storm from sultry to sunny and happy melodies recorded and put together to create Places To Go. They've made a big fan of me yet. I recommend everyone to check them out.
The Leftover Cuties stay true to their sound while varying into an array of emotion. They go from the retro yet very fun title track "Places To Go," which is easily to love, even while the song embodies the thrill of the chase of love. The lead-off track "Lost In The Sea" is the one that pulled me right in. The song is hard to explain, but it's a very bright song that I find my mood lifted at first sound. This is the track that pulled me into the album, and really kept me there. For that, I appreciate this song much more.
I'd have to admit, I believe my favorite song on the Places To Go is "Should've Left You," the quicker worded verses along with the walking bass, and the ukulele keeping the spirits up to accompany the lyrics of a person stuck in a relationship. The horns add a nice touch to this track. The immediate next track is one of the better ones as well. "Sunnyside" is a positive "brighter side of life" kind of song. It’s very uplifting.
It's not all sun in the fun for the Leftover Cuties, though I prefer their bright poppy tracks, they can pull off the slower, down-trodden songs and still thrive. The blues are prominent in songs like "I Would" or "Not One." Songs like these place the mind in a dark show-room lit with candles with a lone spotlight on the band, bringing the vintage sound and the vocals of Shirli McAllen pouring out her soul. It's great. I love how they can cross the spectrum of emotions easily, while executing the songs perfectly.
The Leftover Cuties are an excellent and unique band. They stand out from many bands in this era and I applaud them for it. They are distinctive and fun! I recommend Places To Go and the band deserves whatever recognition comes their way. Count me into the fan club.
Leftover Cuties – “Places To Go”: