There’s no doubt that there is a certain comfort that comes from scrolling through the expansive and familiar discographies of a favorite long-established artist, knowing that hitting shuffle will inevitably produce some sort of easy excellence. On the other side of the spectrum, though, is the fresh cleanliness of new artists. With only a handful of singles or EP’s to their name, there is an excitement to being an early watcher to the growth of an artist and getting to intimately know their tracks. Falling right into this category of fresh-faced and new, “Routine Faces” is certainly one duo to keep an eye on as they grow.
With their new single “Mates” dropping this month, Routine Faces offers a crisp and positivity-packed sound. It’s no secret that with its loud and arrangement-driven focus, the genre of electro-pop is often home to artists who fall lax. Simply pushing out basic and unimaginative lyrics about drunken nights and love lost, many take the assumption that their listeners are looking for nothing more than a beat to dance to. Let’s take a moment to appreciate Routine Faces then, for they most certainly cannot be accused of this offence, their evocative lyrics and driving arrangement well-matched in terms of quality, effort, and consistency.
Detailing the breathless anticipation and gratitude behind spontaneous road trips with close companions, there is an undeniable quality of wild, teenage freedom. “You rest your eyes, you crack a smile when I sing the words all wrong.” Of all the lines, this one in particular really sticks out as summing up the heart of this feeling. There really is something about road-trips that foster an environment of camaraderie and the shared, unique understanding of a moment. It’s the giddy comfortability of singing without restraint, unbothered by trivial things like actually hitting the notes or finding the correct words. It’s a joyous, one-of-a-kind feeling that manages to bring people together unlike any other.
They manage to capture this unique atmosphere of giddy exhilaration not simply in the lyrics themselves, but also throughout the core of the song. With an arrangement that is heavily driven by layered synthesizer and consistent drums such as this one, it is imperative that the vocals must be strong and present, lest they are overpowered. Coming up strong yet again, the vocals present here find an excellent balance between power and restraint, ebbing and flowing with the arrangement to produce a cohesive and full sound.
“Mates” is one of those songs that continues to grow on you with every repeat. Full of life and in sound, it would most certainly be an excellent addition to any road-trip, feel-good, summer-breeze playlist. As you go to take a listen for yourself and add it to your playlists, take a minute to listen to what else they have to offer. Though small in number of tracks, Routine Faces pack a large punch in talent and sound.