Camp Debacle is the debut EP by Grapefruit Lore, and displays lots of their multifaceted abilities to take different styles and instruments and combine them into a cohesive project.
“Older Sister” opens with a Sufjan Stevens-ish brash brass fanfare before opening up into a Shins-like chime-y indie rock song. The chorus is catchy, the mix smart and it closes with a nice vocal chorale.
“Westlake Village Girls” floats between sweet vocal harmonies, fuzzed out distortion, the bouncing synthesizer blips, and acoustic guitar/acoustic piano openness. The transitions are clever, and work very well moving between thought patterns and ideas on the subject matter at hand. The bridge is a nice excursion, a Kinks-like British nod with cello and Beatles-y harmonies before dropping back into the fuzz tone to conclude the track. It’s a well-constructed song.
“Death By Exposure” has St. Vincent like overtones to the vocals and electronic-ness of the percussion with some Dirty Projectors vibe to the melodic arc and boy-girl vocal interplay. There’s a pennywhistle like flute solo that sneaks in and some Dark Side Of The Moon vocalizing later on in the song. Mixing all of this together with the disco-like drums and string parts is a curious but rewarding sonic journey.
The EP concludes with “Arizona Addy” which has an Everlast type of folk-rock rap that has some cash register and vocal samples that visit. Amongst the interplay of instruments, there’s an interesting mix of strings, bluesy crooning saxophone, an electric guitar/piano countermelody, glockenspiel and Klezmer like clarinet/trumpet harmonies, all of which make for an interesting melodic experience. The ray-gun sound effects, constant samples and pseudo laugh track at a missed punch line take away from what could be a fun song by making it too intellectual and too much of an inside joke.
Despite the bumpy landing, Grapefruit Lore displays lots of musical talent in their songwriting, singing, harmonies and instrumental abilities. In lesser hands, the genre hopping/combining may not be as successful, but they handle it with ease and prowess, and have recorded some excellent material.
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