As the title track of Blackbird Blackbird's second LP Tangerine Sky opens, a warm polyphony of synths bounce radiantly to the beat of a driving kick drum presenting what seems to be a sort of instrumental prelude to the rest of the album. Suddenly, two and half minutes in, the dreamy vocals of Mikey Maramag appear all distant and blissed-out like a 3 O'clock wine buzz. For a guy who cut his teeth as the drummer for a hardcore band (Murder Practice), Maramag's solo work as Blackbird Blackbird is about as sunny as it gets, having more in common with the chillwave warmth of Washed Out or the more tranquil sides of Ulrich Schnauss. While an album like this is enjoyable enough for its peaceful, mood-setting aesthetic, Tangerine Sky is also fortunate enough to contain some legitimate songwriting. Distressed lo-fi textures, Casio tones, and clever sequencing along with live guitars, bass, and drums make up the core of the album's sound bed which wraps around some neatly melodic dream pop tunes like "Love Unlimited," "Darlin Dear," and "Rare Candy." Some of the tweaked samples recall a gentler, hazed-out Passion Pit and like many artists working in that sonic bailiwick, the throbbing compression on a few of the tracks can become a bit trying. Still, it's a stylistic choice that hardly deters from the songs, which coast along easily on a wave of homemade electro charm and Maramag's sweet, late afternoon harmonies. Though beguiling in any climate, Tangerine Sky could easily become a soundtrack to the summer months.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger