More proof that the pop just hits different in San Francisco as The Bay Area’s Seablite offer up their sophomore record, Lemon Lights, this week. The band hurdles over the highs of their debut, still plumbing the well of shoegaze and dreampop, but with a tighter focus on the underlying pop sheen this time around. The band escapes the pitfalls of the often rote genres, lacquering a vaseline smear of obfuscation onto pristine pop tracks rather than using the cotton ball cocoon as the hook. Too often bands get a bit bogged down in the sunburn singe of fuzz and froth that it becomes a crutch, but strip away the sudsy production and Seblite would still have an album full of indie pop hooks and dream-doused gems.
Burried among the blur, the band dabbles with various vectors of the indie pop spectrum — letting a bit of ‘90s Lush seep into the sound on “Melancholy Molly.” They continuing to pluck from the BritPop bucket a little later on in “Hit The Wall,” with Andy Pastalaniec’s (Chime School) danceable patter propelling the song well out of the pedal-fed haze. The band are certainly dosing a bit of Ride these days and that band’s balancing act between hook and haze is probably the best touchstone here. Hell, wipe the windscreen and “Lauging Sounds” could be a mid-‘90s Sneetches cut. With all the talk of pop, though, that’s not to say that the band doesn’t lay down a bit of a second degree singe on the soul throughout Lemon Lights. “Blink Each Day” heats up the amps hot enough to brand the riffs into the back of the speakers, but Lauren Matsui and Galine Tumasyan buffer the burn with their constant cloak of shimmer. The record is a strong evolution from their early works, and a true argument that there’s still a good bit of life left in the gauzy end of the pop spectrum.
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