Poolside

Pacific Standard Time

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AllMusic Review by

Poolside, the L.A.-by-way-of-Denmark-and-San Francisco duo of Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise make music they call “daytime disco,” meaning that while they use many of disco’s well-known tropes like funky basslines, four-on-the-floor rhythms, Latin percussion, and glittery choruses, it’s a more relaxed and peaceful sound they’re aiming to produce. Their first LP, Pacific Standard Time, totally succeeds at creating a warm and inviting, almost somnambulant, mood -- so warm that the band could have called themselves “Sauna” just as easily. The album begins with a couple minutes of guitar noodling and spacy synths before settling into an hour-plus journey into a world where Steely Dan is remixed by Ultramarine; T-Connection can’t wake up from a disco nap; Donna Summer is drunk on cough syrup, and Neil Young's “Harvest Moon” is gently plucked from the country and turned into a brilliantly beautiful end-of-the-night jam. There are a few moments where the duo turns up the heat a little; “Why You Wanna” has a pumping bassline and strutting beat, “Do You Believe” has a spunky, midtempo electric boogie feel, and “Just Fall in Love” sounds something like the Eagles jamming with Chic. Mostly though, the record is a relaxed trip that coats the sound in smoothed-out vocal harmonies, interlocking guitars, bubbling synths, and hazy grooves, then mixes it all together into a tropical cocktail that will knock you into a coma after only a few sips. It’s not a million miles away from the sound of contemporary disco-chillwave-new wave groups like Washed Out or Cut Copy, but Poolside have a lively core that the chillwavers lack, and an intimacy that some of the stadium-sized groups like CC lack. It’s an album that works on many levels, and despite the initial feeling of wanting to pass out in a happy haze it initially inspires, there is enough variation in tone and energy levels (subtle though it may be) to keep the listener engaged throughout. Consider Pacific Standard Time the first classic daytime disco record, perfect for poolside zone-outs and ideal for naptime or anytime you want all the fun of disco with none of the expense of energy it demands.

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