By: Samantha Weinraub
Beachwood Sparks is mellow, and they could pass for members of Jefferson Airplane or a psychedelic band from the 70s. Desert Skies is melodic and harmonious, but doesn’t immediately catch my attention as something that stands out or separates itself from the pack of poppy, sunny indie bands that are so prevalent.
“Make It Together” starts out sounding like The Beatles’, “Eight Days a Week,” and then morphs into a Beach Boys, end of “Good Vibrations” electro-theremin sound. It is definitely an agreeable track, which seems to wear its influences on its (CD) sleeve.
“Watery Moonlight” is catchy and likely to get stuck in your head. The instrument playing sounds more convincing at the end and takes on a rougher feel. This track manages to encompass a few different sounds all in three and a half minutes.
I felt very interested to hear “This is What it Feels Like,” 100% due to the title. After listening to it, though, I am still left wanting to know; what is it and what does it feel like? It is a pleasant tune at first, with a sing-along chorus, that doesn’t explain much. At the 2:30 mark, however, the track does slow down, some psychedelic guitar riffs are added, and it turns edgier and more rock sounding. The track stands out due to its transition from happy go lucky -upbeat to something more drawn out.
“Midsummer Daydream” is a song that is easy on the eardrums, and one could have it playing in the background on a coastal drive. “Canyon Ride” is another songs that would be great on a night drive through a warm beach town. It’s slower-paced and more soulful than some of the sugary-pop tracks.
At first, Desert Skies felt like going on a date with someone who is nice, pleasant, and would walk you to your front door at night, but there just wasn’t the sparks that the band title implies. However, with a second, third or even fourth listen (or metaphorical dates) they definitely grew on me. Maybe it just takes some time to get to know an album.