Deep down, everyone is kind of a hipster.
Not that many would admit to it voluntarily, but the truth is that most people have some serious hipster qualities. We all want to be the friend that introduces other friends to what’s fresh and cool, whether that’s a new sushi place or a little-known dive bar or an obscure art gallery on the other side of town. Being the “in the know” friend has huge cultural capital and, whether we’re aware of it or not, most of us want a piece of that pie.
Nowhere is that truer than when it comes to music. Nowadays, people will seek out amazing new bands and form loyal fanbases, only to abandon them as soon as they find any kind of mainstream success. This is obviously totally bonkers, but it does have one important upside:
There’s never been a better time to start a band.
Going on livingroom tours, setting up festivals in local pubs and playing everywhere from basements to dorm rooms isn’t just admirable and rewarding – it’s also trendy. All it takes is the right balance of skill and sweat, and anyone could make their local scene the envy of every news magazine in the country, just by playing music.
That’s what The Daytimers are doing. A garage band in every sense of the word, they met at college and made a name for themselves the old-fashioned way: playing show after show at dorms, charity events and even the occasional college party. The fans they amassed that way are what allowed them to release their first ever EP earlier this year, and it was well worth the three-year wait.
“Introduction”, which ironically is the third song on the record, is laid back and smooth, while “Julia” goes from romantic and nostalgic to uptempo and sunny so seamlessly that you hardly notice it. Final track “If I” starts out confident and jangly, and keeps those good vibes going until the final chord. As for the other track:
“Pat’s Song” finds the strengths of every other track on the record, and manages to do them all brilliantly.
Right from the first line, it’s laden with the kind of wry optimism that American rock music always seems to have in spades. The first slow build sweeps you up while Blake Bergere sings:
“They have no money but what are they gonna do?”
a phrase that morphs into “what are we gonna do” for the rest of the song. It comes back around again and again, but manages to sound hopeful each time, more like a cheerful call to action than a serious lament.
That same quiet confidence permeates the whole song. As irresistibly bouncy as the track is (and it is, believe me) it is bookended by meandering guitars that by themselves sound almost mournful. The vocals are earnest and just the right amount of both rocky and sweet, but the lyrics constantly hover between subtle and straight up sombre.
Being invited to walk along a lakeside while angels sing the background might not sound like the most rock and roll thing in the world, but The Daytimer’s make it sound like the most rebellious invite you’ll get all year.
So go and listen, and make sure to come back and tell me whatever madcap adventure you got pulled into as a result. Whether it’s a coast-to-coast road trip, the kind of endless beach day that teen movies get made about, or a whirlwind romance so intense it’s deserving of its own song, I can guarantee you that the soundtrack will be fabulous.
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