First Listen: Poolside "Pacific Standard Time"

Some albums are made for certain seasons, say summer, some for circumstances, like being on holiday, and some for special situations as relaxing by the pool, half drunk in the late afternoon sun. Poolside’s first release definitely is one of those. Pitchfork described Poolside’s sound quite accurately: “It’s music for when you’re too comfortably situated in a beach chair to dance, but you certainly wouldn’t mind watching other people do it.”

On making this record, Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise did exactly that, if you believe them: Lying drunkenly by the pool. Or it could be a well thought-through concept or marketing strategy, who knows? Even the release date next week seems to be too perfect to be true, dropping right at the beginning of the holiday season. They said they didnt put pressure on themselves to make the perfect record, and while they indeed didnt, it is pretty darn good for its purpose.

I only listened to the record once, not even lying by the pool, but having seen the video to “Slow Down” and all their other images like these soundcloud thumbs here, I could see myself chilling “poolside” right there, right then. To be fair, five tracks of the record were pre-released on their soundcloud page, so I did not hear them for the first time at all. But listening to them in one curated go was different, of course. KCRW is presenting the album as a preview for the next two weeks – without trackslist, in one continuous stream.

It is quite easy to get some flow in a chill set, but quite hard to keep it interesting at the same time. Poolside succeeded at that, all things considered. Even more, I feel like they put some real thought into where to put which song, starting out with a slow intro, then dropping the hits like their cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” and “Slow Down”, mixed with some positively cheesy new tracks and finishing up with some awesome bleeps.

The album therefore has the choreography of said lazy drunken afternoon by the pool. While you are still responsive, you get something for your head to bob to, then you doze off and sleep through the weak third quarter of the record, and just as the sun is about to set, you wake up a bit and get led out of your state of half-consciousness by the last three clear and sparkling tracks. The record finishes with the track “Take Me Home”, so pack your things and leave, after 71 minutes worth a whole vacation.


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