Released: June 25, 2013
Joining this summer’s throwback soundtrack is Portland’s Béisbol, making their glittering full-length debut with their album Lo-Fi Cocaine. Former SoCal brother’s Jeff and Ryan Burian have procured a variety of pop-soaked, summer-ready sounds that imitate the title of their latest release by being retro and addictive. Reverb-filled sounds similar to that of Toro y Moi or Washed Out glisten throughout this riverside gem.
Lo-Fi Cocaine surfs the waves of electro-pop as the album begins with an instrumentally synthy track that carries the booty shakin’ rhythm of your average Passion Pit song. Then, you find yourself in an underwater disco as the second track, “Nothing Strange,” mixes light reggae tones over swimming synths and reverberated vocals that float off into the distance, showing how ‘chill’ these brother’s can get.
Their fourth track and first single, “That Feeling” brings the vocals forward to reveal a disco-tinged, electro-pop track with a bass line the 80’s would be proud of and lyrics nearly as confident as Billy Ocean. “Ready for Something,” their fifth track shows Béisbol’s more contemporary capability within their layered sound. Starting with Cults-like keys that split into a complex tangent of synth sounds once the drums pick up, “Ready for Something” opens the floodgates for a beautifully composed staccato build that falls right into the chorus: “Are you ready for something to start? Or are you wasting all of your time?”
Their last track and the one I cannot take off repeat, “Is It Over” takes Béisbol’s Lo-Fi Cocaine to a relaxing slow jam with distorted synths, thoughtful lyrics and complimenting harmonies. The melting transitions between progressions on this track have me hooked, especially once they fade into the chorus. Try to hold yourself back from this wooing track. I dare you.
Experimenting with a range of genres, Béisbol’s latest album Lo-Fi Cocaine is a collection of everything that has influenced and inspired the brothers Burian. From their wavy, SoCal surf-driven sounds, to hints of funky 80’s pop and R&B slow jams, Lo-Fi Cocaine keeps the listener elevated as Béisbol plays with the popular, layered sounds of electro-pop.
Review by Kelsey Baker