The self-titled debut from Brooklyn-based indie trio Daytona is a dreamy affair percolated with plenty of sunny Afro-pop guitar textures and wistful, wide-eyed refrains evoking breezy summer road trips down the coast to the band's native North Carolina. It's fitting then, that "The Road," a bright paean to wanderlust chronicling two of the bandmates' cross-country bike trips, opens the album and serves to define its overall tone. Recorded in the band's old stomping grounds of Chapel Hill and produced by Lost in the Trees frontman Ari Picker, Daytona frisks along good-naturedly extolling themes of wonder and nostalgia over singer Hunter Simpson's propulsive and heavily delayed guitar. Ornamenting the neat arrangements are the occasional synth and organ line, but this is largely the sound of a well-rehearsed trio playing to their strengths. Hazy with analog glow, there is a dusty warmth consistent throughout the ten songs and the album as a whole, while energetically played, sometimes threatens to blend together a little too much. Standout tracks like excellent Beach Boys-esque "New Foundations" and the swinging single "Honey" are both great pop songs that keep Daytona's debut rooted in amiable midtempo indie pop. Even the galloping new-wave tropicalia of "Lighthouse" never quite gets the pulse fully racing. Still, at its chosen pace, the album does connect with its strong three-part harmonies, catchy melodies, and laid-back, comfortable style. There's a certain affable nature to their music that suggests the members of Daytona never quite let the Big Apple scrub away their easy Southern charm. It may not change your world, but you could easily get to talking with this album at a bar and end up hanging out with it all night.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger