This one has been charming the RSTB speakers for some time now and it’s great to have it finally out in the world. Feeling like an almost too perfect fit for Slumberland, the debut from Andy Pastalaniec’s Chime School (Seablite, Cruel Summer) plays on influences across the jangle-pop spectrum, crafting an album that’s bittersweet, bright, and rather irresistible. Devouring the catalogs of Sha La La, Subway, Creation, and Sarah, Pastalaniec manages to make an album that feels lost from the flock rather than merely reverberating the past. While the hooks come one on top of another, feeling like and almost effortless deluge of indie pop, Chime School’s songs are deceptive in their depth. With an incessant pound of drums, 12-strings ringing in the ears (naturally), and layers of pink perfumed keys, the songs on his eponymous debut puncture the past and soak the heart with blurred, dizzy, lovesick feelings of Kodachromed youth.
The name is well chosen, a winking nod to almost certain comparisons to a class of guitar-forward indie pop that’s reigned from The Byrds and Brummels to The Razorcuts and Reds Pinks and Purples. Pastalaniec moves between the style fluctuations of his heroes like a label constructing a crack comp — a one man Doing It For The Kids or Glass Arcade. Where many find a particular parcel of the jangle-sphere and latch onto an aesthetic, Chime School don’t ever see themselves myopic in their homage. The album arrives just at the right time, dragging the ennui of summer’s last grasp into school window pining for freedom while pushing forward the smell of autumn rain in the air. Perhaps its just the Englishness of its roots, but I have a hard time divorcing this brand of indie-pop from days with a chill in the air. Whatever the temp, though, it’s clear that this record’s going to enter the echelon of classics that never gather dust, cropping up on the turntable again and again when needed.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.