It's been three years since the last sublime record from L.A.'s Golden Daze. That self-titled release in 2016 had a really infectious West Coast vibe, and the band's newest record, set to drop this Friday on Autumn Tone, is similarly wonderful. Simpatico sees Ben Schwab and Jacob Loeb turn further towards the sun, the tunes here gossamer-light and simultaneously intricate contraptions. With the exception of perhaps Beach House, no one working today can pull off this sort of stuff so easily.
While lead single "Blue Bell" and (especially) "Amber" seem to owe a debt to Blue Bell Knoll-era Cocteau Twins in terms of overall effect, if not production values, the easy-to-love "Within" rides a hook that sounds a bit like that of "Rock and Roll Friend" by The Go-Betweens into territory that's closer to that of the late Ultimate Painting. The twang-y "Lynard Bassman" feels like a classic from Teenage Fanclub, while the elegant "Wayward Tide" seems closest to me to the pure bliss of the numbers from the band's last album. "Sentimental Mind" is lyrical and almost folk-y, while the breathy "Flowers" imagines re-imagines an early O.M.D. single through a SoCal sensibility.
If Ben and Jacob are more interested in texture at times than those other bands mentioned up above, that's okay considering the lush results here on Simpatico. And to say that is not to diminish what's here on this release, but, rather to acknowledge the subtle progressions abounding this time out. The tunes here on Simpatico are uniformly excellent, bits of sugar-spun chamber pop wrapped up in a package that *seems* simple, and yet which rewards attentive listeners, especially those who can hear how the band's music is evolving.
Simpatico by Golden Daze is out on Autumn Tone on Friday.
More details on Golden Daze via the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Vinyl Williams]