Sarah Smith and Zach Phillips hail from Vermont, and their music – labyrinthine, frenetic and off-the-wall – feels like a pointed response to their sleepy home state.

Last year’s Wink With Both Eyes collection, home-recorded on a Yamaha eight-track, set out their zany stall, tripping between electro-pop and lo-fi confessional pop at a rate of knots. New LP Wooden Ball arrives on NNA Tapes, recently responsible for Anthony Child’s (aka Surgeon’s) experimental collage set The Space Between People And Things. Much more polished than its predecessor, Wooden Ball comes over like a cross between Laurel Halo circa Quarantine and The Moldy Peaches, with touches of the noodlier end of vintage prog to boot. It’s a spirited, self-aware and occasionally – well, frequently – infuriating collection, but it’s definitely one of the more characterful discs on the March release schedules.

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