Music Review: Pleasure Beach EP

If, like me, you woke up thinking today is a day for good music then you are in luck. New kids on the block Pleasure Beach have been making waves in the blogosphere. Appearing out of the blue with the musical bliss that is ‘Go’, which accumulated a staggering 50k plays in the bat of an eyelid, the group are truly riding high on Belfast’s newest synth-wave.

Beginning in a Belfast coffee shop, these new wave wonders are the embodiment of ‘Dream Pop’, with their ethereal melodies and hazy atmospheric sonic textures. Their heavy Americana influence, compounded in an influx of contemporary styles, gives them an alt edge.

They sound great right? Well if this has left you gasping for more, never fear for your musical thirst is soon to be satiated with the upcoming release of their debut EP ‘Dreamer to the Dawn’ on 27th November via the independent Irish label Faction Records.

The introductory track ‘Go’, opens with a pulsating electronic beat that, if it were the beginning of a movie, would harken something good to come, and we are not disappointed. The infusion of catchy West Coast guitar riffs, jumping bass, and ebbing synthesizers gives the whole song a tinge of Rock. It cannot be simply enjoyed peacefully through headphones but must be experienced, in the stereotypically cinematic dancing around your bedroom like a lunatic sense. The quintet are certainly carving out their own brand of electronica, distinct and polished; no wonder this track rose to quick acclaim.

The title track ‘Dreamer to the Dawn’ is a self-described ‘tour de force of cathartic riffs and propulsive rhythm’, that encumbers a wildly 80’s feel. This is up-tempo indie pop revitalised, with a rhythm that dances alongside the synth quirks and raspy backing vocals, blossoming from a male/female voice dynamic. The song’s opening moments compounded with the whirling melody and jump-start drum beats evokes fist pumping to rival Judd Nelson (John Bender, Breakfast Club); a real feel good track.

The concluding track ‘Hayley’ is a departure from the others, closing the EP on a more subdued, fragile, tone. This song shows the quintet stepping away from perhaps more stereotypical indie vibes and following their own path.

The whole EP is reminiscent of a stereotypical American road trip, the kind wrought with revelations, jubilation, and self-discovery – no small feat for a three-track album.  Although they’re comparable to Arcade Fire and The XX, their unique addition of synths and a hazed, almost psychedelic, atmosphere transcends such comparisons and stands them in their own stead. They’re definitely worth checking out.

Amber Turner-Flanders

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