Last year about the same time that Belle and Sebastians' The Boy With The Arab Strap hit stores, I saw that a 7" single had been released by a group called Looper. The group was a one-man-show of sorts, mainly comprised of B&S member Stuart David. While it had some of the same poppy flavor as the former group, it went entirely different directions in sound and it made for a refreshing listen.
Up A Tree finds the group going in similar directions, as well as exploring some new boundaries. While the roots of the album lie in pop music, and songs have the same spoken-word vocal quality of the track David sings off B&Ss' The Boy With The Arab Strap album ("Space Boy Dream"), Looper differs in the way that they use cut-up sound and skittering (resembling mild jungle beats) electronic drums loops to fuel everything. Note: This is not an electronic album in technical terms, there are simply elements of electronic music that have been added within the pop structure to create something fresh. Stuart David and his wife are the main persons behind everything, while random people drop through and play instruments or sing a bit on several of the songs. While it never gets too sacharrin for it's own good, the album does have a light touch throughout and will probably having you humming and swaying right along with it on first listen. Yet another good little Scottish band.