Manchester-based musician Paul Hughes, performing under the name The Candy Strypers, creates 1960s style music with ringing guitars and infectious melodies. He’s collected 11 songs for a digital album titled ¡contenidos caliente!, which is available for free download on SoundCloud. The title, which translates to hot contents, is a bit misleading, since Hughes generally opts for mid-tempo arrangements and an easy-going vibe. A better description can be found on his SoundCloud page: “Sunny powerpop from a rainy city.”
Manchester’s damp climate may have inspired the light and romantic “In The Rain,” while the gorgeous vocals on “Hymn The Girl” call to mind another Mancunian band, The Hollies. It’s not uncommon for one-man power pop bands to get carried away while overdubbing vocals, but Hughes’s deft approach to the effect, on songs like “Callin’ Sarah” and The Beach Boys’ homage, “Malibu (More Than Anyone)” keeps ¡contenidos caliente! from becoming muy tedious.
Plus, The Candy Strypers switch gears with the wry, acoustic “Your Town,” which lampoons small town residents, and the harder-edged “Problem No. 6.” “Quesadilla Song” recalls The Posies, another band that obviously draws inspirations from the 1960s. Hughes says that he doesn’t really play the club circuit, but it sure would be interesting to hear these songs performed in a live setting.