Review Summary: essential summer v i b e s
How do you measure the quality of a dream pop record? Have you considered using a vibe-o-meter? wait sorry no come back sorry allow me to propose something better
. Let’s use the following scale: How Much Does [dream pop record] Make Me Want to Romanticise My Life? If we’re using this extremely scientific method, Beach Fossils albums are the goodest of the bestest. Hell, my initial idea for this review was centred around the idea that, in spite of their absence in recent times, the band have always ~been with me~. It was going to liken their artistic growth (...and lack thereof) to my life trajectory: I had many incredibly inspiring lines planned about listening to 2017’s Somersault
on a midnight train in Germany and now, six years later, listening to Bunny
on a midnight bus in Slovenia. It was going to arrive at the conclusion that both the band and I are still chasing the same feeling, while also moving forward in life… or, uh, something. Two weeks. It took me two goddamn weeks to realise that this would be even cheesier and cornier than my miserable attempts at making a quesadilla. Fourteen whole days. That’s how incredibly well Bunny
performs according to my proposed scale.
Frankly, it’s not all that surprising. This album is easily the most sun-drenched and streamlined Beach Fossils have ever sounded, while retaining all of the band’s wonderful trademark qualities. The bass is as prominent as ever; melodies are as loveably jangly as always. In expanding upon Somersault
’s orchestral tendencies, many of the record’s songs emphasise their newfound psychedelic influences. It’s a perfect marriage of vibes
(someone let me use this vibe-o-meter plz): the engulfing “(Just Like The) Setting Sun” features some of the most gorgeous swells you’ll hear this summer, while “Numb” ups the soothing sonic dissonance by intertwining its fuzz with warm, spacious melodies. These calming, lingering riffs underscoring all of Bunny
are the glue that keeps it all together: whether it’s a cutesy concrete pop cut or a smooth psych-y song, no moment is left unenhanced by warm swathes of guitar.
Moreover, this shift towards the even more
summery is a perfect fit for Dustin Payseur’s snapshot-esque lyrics. He has never been a particularly poignant lyricist, and even though Bunny
touches on topics of loss, friendship, and heartbreak, his words fare best enveloped by sounds that make you forget words exist in the first place. Sure, “dare me to say something stupid / I think I need more than this
” isn’t the most moving sentiment, but this truly does not matter when they’re presented as part of the most entrancing chorus Beach Fossils ever recorded. When a song titled “Feel So High” gets away with sounding exactly
how you’d expect it to sound while relying on the lyrics “’cause I feel so high
” as its main hook, you know the band are doing something very, very right.
In fact, they’re doing a whole lot of things right. Bunny
's performances are pristine: the record navigates its hooks, sonic sways and immaculate v..v..vibes with palpable ease. However, I am mostly just thankful to have a brand new Beach Fossils album to link my summery experiences to. It's my personal pair of rose-tinted glasses. It’s smoothies and fields and butterflies. It's music at its most dreamily joy-inspiring.