Album Review: Model Shop – Love Interest

The Seattle trio announce their arrival with an album of huge hooks and direct-hit choruses

There are few joys in life that compare to discovering a song that you just know you’re going to play to death. Model Shop’s ‘Letter To Melissa’ is one such song, a joyous slice of indie pop that takes heavy artillery to any lingering grey clouds – not an easy task for a trio from Seattle. If choruses were currency, they’d be the richest three people in the Pacific Northwest off one song alone.

Letters To Melissa

Kevin Emerson and Ethan Jones, who previously played together in Maths And Physics Club, joined forces with bassist Jen Fox back in 2019, creating Model Shop just before the world shut down. The trio were forced to record most of Love Interest separately before coming back together to complete the album in person. The pangs of separations and joy of reunion are scattered throughout these 10 bittersweet pop songs, each feeling like it’s been ripped from the soundtrack to a coming-of-age film.

Love Interest crashes through its opening credits with the rollicking ‘Lucky’, another chorus so catchy and sugary that it should come with a health warning and a toothbrush. As an introduction to the band, it’s pretty concise: all crystal clear guitars, direct hooks and gorgeous lovesick harmonies.

It’s extremely appropriate that Model Shop have a song called ‘Compilation Tape’, both in the band’s inherent nostalgia and because it sounds exactly like something you discover on an unmarked Maxell 90-minute tape in a bedside drawer. There’s a flourish of 80s electro around its fringes, like New Order at their poppiest. At times, there’s a trace of Matt Pond PA, another band that wrote minor miracles that felt like lost hits.

Model Shop don’t complicate matters across these ten songs. The themes are simple and relatable, universal enough to earn the John Hughes reference in the band’s bio. The chords are big, the hooks are sharp, the production warm and rounded – every element seems geared towards the most pleasant listening experience possible. God knows what makes a hit these days, but it seems criminal if it’s not this.

Love Interest by Model Shop is out now to buy and stream