Review: Golden Daze – Self-titled
Autumn Tone Records
Golden Daze = Toy + The Byrds + Mac DeMarco
Enveloping themselves in L.A.’s neo/pop-psychedelic scene, Golden Daze’s debut is an aroma of waves hitting the beach and a nostalgia of old back beats. The strengths of this album are its oceanic themes and its call back to old bands of the ’60s, like The Byrds. This early rock n’ roll influence is most prevalent in their track “Sleepin’ In The Sun.” Acoustic guitar and synthesizers glaze over a great drumbeat that refuses to let you get down on yourself—especially while lying in the sun. Songs like this on the record keep a smile on your face with their upbeat rhythms and Southern California dreams. Not only are they nostalgic, but pretty damn catchy too. Another appeal this record has, is that it can make a sour situation feel comfortable. “Never Comin’ Back” deals with change and moving on in your life with such great vibes and an attitude that accepts the world’s malleability. “My mind is open wide / Taking back her time” speaks to a transition we’ve all been through, regardless of what latter pronoun we need to use. We can forget what is in the past because ahead of us lies miles and miles of a beautiful sandy beach.
The sunny nostalgia of this record runs deep, but you can also feel a similar presence in Golden Daze as with modern bands like Toy and Temples. All these bands contain that neo-psych blaze that many have become so fond of in recent years. The first single from the release, “Salt,” is a steady jam with intricate bass lines and an atmosphere filled with lots of reverb. “Low” has a synthed-out drive that blends together rippling guitar effects and bouncy acoustic strums. Though this album has a lot of similarities with other psych-pop acts, it also has traits that a lot of more recent acts don’t. “Lean In” slips us a sex appeal that we can only ever find in Little River Band and Mac DeMarco. Its catchy synth-wah is as calm as it is cool. It really makes you want to go back to that sandy beach we were on earlier, light a cigarette and decadently lie in the sun for years to come. It’s the kind of music that says don’t worry, “lay down with me my brother.” Following on the record, “Foreigner” upholds the sexy grooves and adds to them bits of an arena rock focus. The song’s bouncy wahs center on its strong choruses of loud cymbal crashes and harmonized “Aaahhhhs.” You might be crazy enough to say that it sounds a little like Arcade Fire. But thankfully, the track mostly resides with its own erotic affair. The record concludes with “Still Time,” which unlike most other tracks, evokes a kind of deranged and distant atmosphere. Its tempo is a lot slower and provides more time to notice the individual and unique tones coming through the track. The record in general does well in recreating old vibrations of the ‘60s, but at the same time provoking feelings not found in other modern pop-psych albums. Its sex appeal and mystery leave you wanting more while its nostalgia and catchy beats keep you turned on. It’s an appealing record that will only stray far enough to give you an enticing sense of danger.