The four-piece band Californian Sleepovers consisting of Nick Paredes (electric uke/vocals), Charlotte Wright (vocals), Ryan Higgins (bass) and Wil Tecla (drums) recently released their debut EP entitled Back in my day. Back in my day showcases a band that utilizes the production aesthetics you would expect from a lo-fi shoegaze band and wraps them in pop songs.
The combination is utterly appealing and easy to embrace. White noise and reverb laced vocals swirl together in memorable melodies and point to a band with a surplus of potential. The vocalist reminded me of Jeremy Earl from Woods while the music itself lies somewhere in between Yo La Tengo and My Bloody Valentine.
The band opens up with a two-minute song entitled “Closed Circuit.” It’s held down with a killer vocal melody, which is ultimately the anchor that becomes the focal point of the song. Lyrically, the song is a success and avoids common clichés and tropes. He sings, “It all starts with a glimmer of hope that keeps on growing until it's blinding you're so blinded you're so blinded by your ideal.” The song gets in and out fast and contains no extra fat.
The centerpiece of the EP is “Ice Nine,” which is undeniably infectious and is also emotionally resonant. Lyrics like “I've been meaning to touch the sand when did it all get out of hand? Where's the land?” and “I tried so hard to sail alone and now I'm scared because the ice nine has me frozen to the sea” contain the residue of existential angst. Guitars are covered in distortion and effects and merge with the drums but the vocals are the only element that manages to escape the whirlwind of white noise.
The band closes with the nihilistic “Hitting the Grave” which works becomes of the delivery. It doesn’t come off as self-indulgent and is appealing in its own off-kilter type of way.
Back in my day is a little over ten minutes in length. It’s simply too short to point to any absolutes about the band. That being said, it is certainly an indicator that Californian Sleepovers is a band to keep your eyes and ears on. The band goes three for three here and if they continue on an upward trajectory you can assume that a lot more people will be familiar with them.
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