Our favourite twee pop/girl group label scores again with this British studio project’s debut release, a six-track mini-LP that combines the best of both worlds. Svengalied by songwriter/producer Joe Moore, The Yearning is fronted by 15-year old teen sensation Maddie Dobie, ably assisted by co-vocalist Justyne Halas. Moore unabashedly wears his Joe Meek/Phil Spector influences on his sleeve, and the gals are up to the task of faithfully recreating that classic ’60s Motown/Beach Boys/girl group sound. Highlights include the cuddly, coochie-coo opener ‘You Make Loving You Easy’, all dripping in strings ’n’ treacle; the Neil Sedaka-on-helium giddiness of ‘Baby Be Mine’; the country-pop sashay of ‘Kiss You In The Summertime’; and the harmony-driven, Spectorish ‘Don’t Call Me Baby’.
Dobie’s voice is still on the cusp of adulthood, so there’s an honest-to-goodness childlike quality to her delivery that falls somewhere between Betty Boop and vintage Rachel Sweet, who recorded her Stiff debut when she was also 15. Dobie’s voice is perfectly suited to Moore’s soft, sentimental pop tunes, and although they occasionally verge into easy listening territory, fans of girl groups, and classic ’60s radio hits from Jackie, Dusty, Lesley et al will find a lot to enjoy.