Gossling (New band of the day No 1,624)

Australian songsmith channelling naiveté and experience, both highly tunefully (and with a hint of the Coldplays)

Hometown: Melbourne.
The lineup: Helen Croome (vocals).

The background: Helen Croome is Gossling, and you can see why she operates under that alias – because she's called Helen Croome, which is almost as unlikely a pop star name as Lucy Spraggan. But why Gossling? She hasn't said. Maybe it's an obscure Australian reference we're missing. Or maybe we're just avoiding the obvious, that it's close to "gosling" and she's telegraphing her youth and inexperience (either that or she's obsessed with Ryan Gosling).

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Actually, she sounds simultaneously youthful and careworn, jejune and fatigued. Her voice, equal parts squeak and sorrow, makes us think of Kate Nash doing an impression of Joanna Newsom, or vice versa. She looks like a young Rita Tushingham in the video to her single Wild Love. In fact, she's been around for a while in the Antipodes, like Lorde has, although we're guessing she's older than 16 (she's a former psychology student and bachelor of music). But she really plays up the ickle-gurl affectations on Wild Love, with an added nasal intonation that will either appeal because it's cute or annoy because it sounds bunged-up. Other songs change our impression of her. On Never Expire she comes across like a less strident Sinéad, while the production epic-ness suggests we might be looking in the wrong places for comparisons. Harvest of Gold, with its multitracked, layered vocal, could be Coldplay if Coldplay were a solo female artist from Wodonga. Here's a quote for those record company adverts – "Gossling sounds like an angsty British rock band". You can have that one for free. On Heart Killer, from one of several EPs of hers on Spotify, she plays the sultry noir siren, but those squeaks are still there – she's less a femme fatale than a fille fatale. On Love Fall Foul, a stark piano ballad, she tones down the caprice and dials up the doleful and desperate. Hazard from the If You Can't Whistle EP finds her in quirky mode while Days of Over is like a Carole King piano ballad, only with Clare Grogan on vocals. File under "intriguing".

The buzz: "Fast becoming a swan."

The truth: Enough of the fowl puns, for duck's sake.
Most likely to: Make wonga.

Least likely to: Miss Wodonga.

What to buy: The single Wild Love is released by Dew Process on 18 November.

File next to: Joanna Newsom, Coldplay, Julia Stone, Lisa Mitchell.

Links: www.gosslingmusic.com.

Thursday's new band: His Clancyness.


Paul Lester

The GuardianTramp

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