I’d like to call bullshit on half of 2013 already being over, but the calendar says July 8th and since I have a complete inability to keep track of days, months, years, and whatnot, I’m going to have to believe what all of my electronics are preaching. The iPhone does …
Last year I plugged POOLSIDE, a band with aspirations no greater than inspiring you to chill out and drink adult beverages next to a sterile body of water. The ocean, most likely. I definitely don’t see them advocating a stagnant pool or freshwater lake. This year, I’ve got another fantastic candidate for chill-the-fuck-out record of the year. I submit to you: VONDELPARK. Critics seem to call them dream pop, but that doesn’t really translate here. Vocals are whispy, synthy and minimal.
Call it what you will. Lo-fi 80’s R&B. Bedroom glitch soul. Perhaps. Whatever it is, this entire record is electric and should get moved to the front of any of your “to-listen playlists.” The video’s pretty damn cool too. This record has that Poolside feel to it, the kind of fun, soulful record that just won’t give up it’s hold of the turntable.
The Sound: The band cites Pavement and Guided By Voices as immediate influences. I’d add The Feelies or Sonic Youth into that equation. It’s stripped-down guitar-driven indie rock/post-punk with the aim of sincerity. There’s no sense of self-awareness or indulgent posturing. In many ways it is the intersection of 70’s and 90’s rock and roll and Light Up Gold sounds like a classic record. Parquet Courts is dabbling in familiar frequencies but owning them, making those Sonic Youth riffs entirely their own.
With excessively arbitrary panache we decide that, ever year, December 31st is the end cut off for our scourge of “Best Of” lists. I’m guilty for creating. You’re guilty for reading (and maybe creating, as well). We’re all in this together. And we’ll wallow in these lists for the next few months like pigs in shit.