Holiday Shores - New Masses for Squaw Peak

The onset of the murky Autumn months and gnarled, beckoning finger of Seasonal Affective Disorder makes the release of woozy, surf pop a calculated gamble. There’s the premise of being energised by the sunny-side up warmth or disaffected by the slow death of long, summer days. Either way, it’s a challenge ‘New Masses For Squaw Peak’ is ill equipped to overcome. Alive with errant melody and lo-fi psychedelics, it’s undoubtedly pretty in places, but erratic, noodling interludes and the molasses-thick muffle of the album’s production undermine its pleasant nostalgia. ‘Spells’ takes the Vampire Weekend approach, jerking and jiving to awkward syncopated rhythms, but for the most part, ‘New Masses…’ is an unassuming blend of spaced out prog and echoing reverb that neither builds nor explodes but just fades out. Not even the blazing October sunshine can give this album the context it sorely needs.

By Reef Younis

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