Everything about Lucky Elephant screams 'CUTE' - from their name, to the artwork of their debut album, to the fact that they recorded their debut album on analogue tape and they describe themselves as 'four dashing young blades'. Unsurprisingly, their music matches the image. That the Isle of Wight natives (although lead singer Emmanuel 'Manu' Labescat hails from south-west France) are signed to the brilliant Sunday Best also earns them brownie points; their forays into indiepop using Wurlitzers, ukeleles and harmoniums seems perfectly suited to the off-the-beaten-track label.
And if that range of instruments immediately pigeonholes the quartet, it can't be helped. Lucky Elephant try their darnedest to play songs that are quietly euphoric, toe-warming treats, but all too often they get lost before they manage it. Instrumental track 'Lucky Elephant' is a gorgeous opener, its dinky keyboard patter evoking comparisons with Lemon Jelly, and 'Reverend Tilsley and his Magic Lantern''s '80s cartoon soundtrack is a gentle, plodding charmer - not least because of Labescat's pronunciation of 'lonten'.
Those tracks - and several others - aside, too much of 'Star Sign Trampoline' is frustratingly pedestrian and repetitive. The woozy reggae lilt of 'Neptune' and the eventual Strawberry Fields Forever shuffle of 'Burn Down the Acres' just seem unrealised to their full potential, rendering themselves only several notches above 'background noise'. Oh, it's quite pleasant background noise, yes, but it's background noise, all the same.