Shapes and Sizes Split Lips, Winning Hips, a Shiner

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All eyes were on Victoria, BC's Shapes and Sizes when they signed to Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty imprint, but their self-titled debut was lukewarm at best. Following a move to Montreal, however, Split Lips, Winning Hips, A Shiner is a marked improvement. Continuing their anything-goes approach to indie pop, the songs on Split Lips swell with surprises at every turn. Opener "Alone/Alive" builds up to a joyous chorus, while other tracks allow for sweeps of noise and group sing-alongs ("Highlife"). Finding the balance between noisy experimentation and catchy pop is never easy, but Split Lips plays out like a collaboration between Pavement and Captain Beefheart, leaving no question that Shapes and Sizes have hit their stride.