‘Don’t Be So Nice‘ is Pales’ second gift to the world, following their 2013 debut album ‘It’s Cold Outside’. Songwriter Scott Maynard also plays guitar, bass and piano, Mike Isaacs covers vocals, woodwind and synth (and also mixed this along with Mike Gibson and Darren Maynard), and Rose Blake adds voice and banjo. This is folk from Wellington. The trio’s music has been described as ‘sparse but sophisticated’ – but sophisticated implies ‘hard to grasp’ which this is definitely not. Perhaps it references their jazz and classical backgrounds, and the fact they have chosen this format instead. It’s a contemplative, moody, slightly somber, occasionally vaguely spooky excursion. I love the bassoon and what sounds like an upright bass on Live In The Sun, which adds a jazzy note – if just for a little moment. There are spaces between both words and music, and a really natural fusion of voices. Maynard sounds a lot like Jed Town in his Fetus Production days (a serious compliment), and this music casts a little bit of a spell on you – in a nice, mellow way. Cory Champion joins the band with some very subtle drums, while Emi Pogoni adds ambience and synth.