Southwark’s been knocking it out of the park lately with a glut of pearly pop-loving jams and London-based quartet Hugh is continuing the trend with their debut EP I Can’t Figure You Out. Filled with enchanting, sugar-sweet tunes that drip with wistful sentiment and lush textures, the EP presents a group that holds out hope for a more romantic tomorrow.
Quietly catchy with a distinct lounge-y undertone, it’s an EP that da-dums and hums through a field of kaleidoscopic synths. And I Can’t Figure You Out is filled with pleas like “darling, don’t toy with me” and “careful with my heart,” weaving in and out between mechanical clicks and burbling synthlines that tease and toy with your heartstrings. From the positive affirmation-filled “Charlie” to the bedroom eyes-ready “I Can Be Your Light,” it’s always sweet, but never saccharine. With enough acidity in the form of off-kilter melodies and Izzy Brooks’s strangely sensual croon, it refrains from getting too fluffy or cutesy, instead choosing to swoon in a smoky dream world that’s not completely candy-colored.
The only part of the release that feels corny is the forced pseudo-rap on “Not Fair Too Far.” Paired with Brooks’s awkward vocal melody and an oddly-constructed synthline, it sounds like the accidental “experimental” track on an album that’s otherwise filled with excellent lounge-pop.
One small misstep is acceptable though, as there’s something incredibly alluring about I Can’t Figure You Out as a whole. Speaking with an acute sense of innocence and a hint of the kind of regret that just compels you to do better, it’s a gorgeous pop-tinged gem that provides the perfect soundtrack for all of your desirous daydreams.