Sono Oto – “The Apple” EP

Mark Phillips, aka Sono Oto, made it easy on lazy rock crits when he packed his EP of six songs about apples with so many related qualities. I could just riff on the crisp melodies, juicy hooks and all-American charms of this set, but tunes this strong deserve more thoughtful feedback. From the bittersweet pop shimmers of "Granny Smith" (where the titular fruit is sweet but irradiated, with swift decay a worrying possibility) to the childlike nostalgia of "Malus Domestica," which recalls Epic Soundtracks’ solo piano turns, to the sprightly, paranoiac "Northern Spy," Sono Oto’s applesongs reflect a smart and seductive pop craftsmanship that’d be a hit in the veggie aisle or anywhere.

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