by Stephen Veith (@quakeroats91)
This past January, Philadelphia quintet Earthboy released a five song self-titled EP. Just over sixteen minutes, this record packs a substantial punch of psychedelia washed lo-fi pop. Catchy vocal delivery with impressive pop sensibilities satisfied my song needs right off the bat. On subsequent listens to the layered, effective, array of guitar and synth work, my interest was piqued.
Although not a full-length release, the vastness of genres that Earthboy channel on this EP lead you to believe you are listening to abbreviated sections of a full LP. The songs feel like paraphrased snippets of large musical movements condensed into snapshots of adolescence. A feeling of youth is palpable on the recording, but not overwhelming by any means. It’s not a nostalgic feel from childhood, but more of an isotemporal expression of the time you experience life on your own for the first time.
The vocal delivery is earnest and mature for a discussion of cheap cosmetic surgeries, hair product, losing cell phones in the snow, and unrequited love. The first track, “Drug Store Romeo” manages to portray a grounded sense of the contemporary with guitar tones bending over one another; a clean tone in the forefront being backed by a shiny, overdriven tone that could be found on the first Tame Impala record. The contrast between the loose jangle and calculated soundscapes being played with allow for the creeping second track “Pup” to really shine a light on the chorus-effect doused catchiness of the whole release.
Interestingly on the third track, “Sun Daze,” the lyrics are about a character hating orchestral music, a bold choice for a group that seem to be taking notes off mid-aught chamber pop workings of early Ra Ra Riot or Morning Benders - especially with what sounds like the chugging of an electric cello in the following song, “Valentine”. The combination of synth tone and swooning vocals at the culmination of “Valentine” give it an antiquated sweetheart pop feel.
This EP as a whole sounds like a supergroup from college radio, past and present, released a Greatest Hits 7". The digestible quality of this work, and combination of light-hearted lyrics and more complex musicality make sure you will be keeping a keen eye for a more expansive release from Earthboy.