Triptides trawl through the past with an ear for the most coveted corners of pop. Their early years found them glazed and glued to the psych-pop ‘60s, traversing both sides of the Atlantic for a sound that could have filled a full compendium of modern-day Nuggets. As time wore on they pushed further from the fumes of garage, embracing a ‘70s country breeze on last year’s So Many Days. This time around the band sticks with the decade of decadence but leaves behind the dust and dreams of West Coast cowboys and Canyon troubadors. The band embraces a disco skitter behind the kit, sliding deftly between the towering heights of modern psych-pop and a cream-crushed dose of blue-eyed soul doused with a touch of Yacht-rock’s gloss.
It’s as close as the band has come to a full-tilt festival filler — wiping away the fuzz n’ fumes of their earlier works for a glow-up that’s aimed at the post-psych sway of Pond, Montero, or Temples if they’d been just a bit more enamored of the glossier end of the dial. Running on wisps of Gaucho and Takin’ It Easy, the new album feels more meticulous than anything in Triptides’ catalog. Brigman’s keys are clear and unclouded. The harmonies pick up a dewiness from the cool air, lowering the swelter all around them. Guitars ride a slipstream from languid strums to moments of sunburned ecstasy. They slip into old habits on “Reactor,” but the tightly restrained fuzz just serves as a fevered high to the rest of the album’s slippery exterior. “Unwound” enters the fray as one of the band’s best singles to date, and it’s in good company with “Thought Collector” and the Apple-era crispness of “As You Can See.” If you held the notion of having Triptides typecast, Starlight is here to shake those assumptions.
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