Cowboy and Spingirl

What if the Vaselines were American? They might sound something like Cowboy and Spingirl, a tender indie group comprised of Donna Esposito and Frank Bednash, who have been recording since the eighties. Donna started off in the Cyclones, a garage act, and Frank in the Riff Doctors, a jangly bedroom outfit.

At times, their sweet twee can give tooth rot, and occasionally you wonder if their songs are, in fact, literally demos, not yet sculpted into shape before being popped in the kiln. But these frays in their tapestry only add to their charisma, in large part because their songwriting is both honed and curious; this tune's a Merseybeat ditty, this one's a tattered shoegaze droner, that one's a lo-fi lullaby.

Sometimes, I'm certain I hear Johnny Marr, I'm convinced he's an uncredited guitar.