Review: Beach Vacation - "Maritime"

Beach Vacation - Maritime
(2013 Dufflecoat)
"Could music be captured through the lens of a Super 8 camera?"

Simple riffs, tinny guitar tones, and sparkling vibes. That's the sound that Washington quartet Beach Vacation is on a mission to revive: the signature timbre of one of my favorite labels Captured Tracks, circa 2010. Now that many of their staple acts, Wild Nothing and Beach Fossils, for example, have strayed a fair distance from the style of music that put them on the map, Beach Vacation fills the void that many of us have for dreamy surf-pop, and fills it well.

After setting the stage with some desert island sound effects in the vocal-less intro, the 4 song EP kicks into gear with its standout single, "Washington Weather". Above the song's stark acoustic strummings, jangly wisps of lead guitar provide a warm, bright texture. You can almost feel the sun's rays beating on the back of your neck, but they're not harsh enough to leave a burn. The hook is particularly pleasant, sounding quite reminiscent of Wild Nothing's "Summer Holiday" with heavily reverbed and filtered vocals, as if music could be captured through the lens of a Super 8 camera. "Stay a While", standing at only a minute-and-a-half, uses brevity to its advantage, laying down a memorable melody while not repeating it ad nauseam. For a debut, Maritime establishes Beach Vacation's style quite well. Although it's pretty derivative of many bands that have come before it, it sounds simply swell. Listen to the EP below.