Purple Door may have a very bright future ahead of them. I wouldn’t have guessed that Ben Bellick (drums), Jacob Gold (bass), Jacob Baskes (guitar) and Sam McCarthy (guitar, vocals) are high school juniors after listening to their EP entitled Flying Side. They display a level of restraint and sophistication in their music that is rare amongst younger bands. They embrace clean guitars (sometimes with a marginal amount of fuzz), melody and pop songs.
My first impression was that they sounded like a jazzier sounding version of Vampire Weekend, which still holds true. The songs contain a light air about them, which feels fun. I need to point out that this is a very rare thing to find in younger bands. Bands that have their members still in high school can be self-indulgent, pretentious and often flat out obnoxious. None of that here.
The four songs range from two to three minutes in length but make quite an impression. “You Said to Me” contains excellent musicianship from the members of the band. Everyone was on point but that slick, creative guitar playing tended to get most of the attention, aside from the vocals. The singer McCarthy is an unassuming front man. He doesn’t have a striking voice and almost sounds kind of nerdy but it works quite well. The vocal hook on the chorus is catchy and quickly became embedded in my head.
The second track “It’s That Season” is another success. It’s a bright song that is arguably catchier than “You Said Too Me.” The band sounds great when they break down the song and my earlier comparison is most evident here. “Patio” contains inventive chord structures that are more proof that the band is talented beyond their years while closer “Batten Down” is a breezy pop song that contains strong, technically impressive performances from the band.
After my third time through Flying Side I have to say that I was truly digging the band’s attention to detail and songwriting. Purple Door is an anomaly and their parents and music teachers should be proud if they are reading this. Hopefully we hear a lot more from Purple Door in the future.
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