Review: Christie Pits Baseball Pitch - "1994"

Christie Pits Baseball Pitch - 1994 EP
(2016 Self-Released)

The fondest childhood memories are often those spent in microcosmic derivatives of the adult world. Browsing the chewing gum-tinted turn-of-the-20th century architecture of Disneyworld's Main Street (constructed at a 3/4 scale to give the viewer the illusion of their own largeness) lets one participate in a surreally idealized simulacrum of the "American experience". Earning virtual cash for your avatar in the worlds of Club Penguin or Neopets during indoor recess is a low-stakes daily grind. Stepping foot on a Little League baseball diamond lets one experience the payoffs and pitfalls of celebrity on a small scale. It's the hyperreality of Little League Baseball that's the subject of 1994: a lo-fi soundscape occupied by Rothko streaks of infield down the knees of canvas-white pants, indistinguishable fatherly advice shouted from behind the backstop and the rest of the myriad cliches that are perhaps unavoidable when describing the game. Sentimentality is as inseparable to baseball as it is to chillwave - it's surprising that it has taken this long for the two concepts to be combined this harmoniously.

Named after a park and multi-sport complex in Toronto, chillwave revival project Christie Pits Baseball Pitch revels in Polaroid nostalgia. Layering lumbering jazz organ basslines and clumsy lead guitar riffs atop a distorted drum machine loop, opener "Bonds Became" hearkens back to the hypnagogic grooves of early Ducktails cassettes or the oleaginous noise-pop of Grippers Nother Onesers' Live At Slimer Beach. "Pull Hitters" is a breezy corporate-jazz jam that could have appeared on the soundtrack to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attourney, while its successor, "Dugout", dips into more melancholy tones, its tinny synths hailing down on a fingerpicked awning. 

Holding firm to a sonic color palette of late-summer oranges and yellows, 1994 EP is the chillwave equivalent to the Houston Astros' infamous "tequila sunrise" uniforms. In my opinion, that's a very good thing.