The majority of music in college dorms by nineteen year olds usually sucks. With their torn version of Ableton live and Mac Airbook that they got as a present from their mom they usually don’t have many resources to pull from.
Suffice it to say it's not going to sound like OK Computer. Although Things That Fool Me by Happy Tourists aka Ryan Ansel is no OK Computer I’d say it's one of these rare bedroom albums by a young person that is quite enjoyable.
Ansel said that “I wanted to get people to nod their heads and sing along to the chorus.” I think that's doable. There are some catchy hooks and it has an adrenaline inducing upbeat quality to it. Ansel also mentions he was listening to Animal Collective quite a bit and I think some of that comes across in his music. Although his music is more poppy and less organic sounding in a lot of ways.
He opens with “Things That Fool Me” which has a number of catchy elements in it. His background vocals along with soothing sine waves are supported by heavy beat. The lead vocals are really catchy.
“Feel So” is arguably the highlight. The song is very addictive and has more in common with an artist like The Field. It’s hypnotic like a mantra. Good track. He has more success with “In The Open,” the Postal Service-esque “Seattle” and the closing track “Another Day.”
This is a fun EP that feels like a breeze. It’s not perfect but it has some inspired moments. More importantly it shows potential in a young guy who is just get started. I’m looking forward to seeing his development.
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