ALBUM REVIEW: Poolside – Low Season

Words by Emily Hollitt

Poolside’s latest puts you exactly there- lounging at the poolside, sun-kissed with a Corona in hand and not a care in the world. ‘Low Season’ is a series of tracks that make you feel in love with your surroundings, nature and those people around you. Immediately, opening track Abandoned Tunnel caught my attention with it’s atmospheric and serene soundscapes decorated with the overpowering yet simplistic melodic saxophone. This track feels like sunrise- the serenity and the calm you feel when the world is asleep. Powerful, calm and natural. I Feel High follows, changing the pace of the album entirely. Suddenly, you are at a beach party- tropical beats and simple synths make you want to dance as it makes you feel exactly how the title suggests, high. The delicate, velvety harmonies are reminiscent of an ‘70s Bee Gees track.

The energy levels stay the same with Can’t Stop All Your Loving. The vocals take over the main melodic and storytelling component of the track for the first time on the album, all smoothly delivered and double tracked, increasing the party vibe of the song, as if the feeling is shared by a roomful of people. The bass line takes over in Around the Sun, the group’s second single from the album. Sparkly guitar tones decorate themselves around the infectious vocal melody, all sitting comfortably above a relaxed simple rock beat. The ‘70s disco influence continues to be ever more prominent, reflecting the sophistication of the musicality with the simplicity of the emotions captured in the music. Losing Control pulls the party elements of the album back, making it feel more intimate- like the slow dance part of your school dance. Less lyrically focused, the track acts as a slow burner, building the blocks of the track through different elements- building up to a chaotic euphoria- literally losing control.

Title track Low Season stays at this relaxed level with the beat driving the track forward. The infectious guitar and bass licks centre the main melodic component, with simple melodic themes repeated amongst an atmospheric background- creating the perfect ‘zone-out’ soundscape. Kinda Lovely was a standout track for me. The beachy, tropical sounds, climbing synth and groovy bass line create the perfect blend for the perfect Summer love song. Featuring Sydney’s Panama, the electronic dream team’s collaboration simplifies love in a beautiful way, incorporating slurred, relaxed vocals and repeated mantra “ooh damn, you’re kinda lovely”. 

Sunrise Strategies finishes the album with a 7-minute long audible adventure. The track begins with 2 acoustic guitars, both a lead and a melodic, before the electric guitar overtakes with the tracks theme- a simple, 4 note melody where the rest of the instrumentation is based around. The track builds consistently for around 5-minutes, introducing a plethora of other instruments including almost alien electronic synth sounds, flute samples and, of course, the beloved saxophone from the start of the album. Towards the end of the track, it slows down completely, with all melodic elements replaced with electronic noise and wind and bird sounds, equal parts relaxing and almost dystopian- a mix of light and dark.

The album ends on a single note fading out, allowing the album to linger long in my mind, leading me straight back to track  for another listen. ‘Low Season’ will surely be the go to soundtrack to any Sunday afternoon BBQ, a poolside beer with a few friends or background noise on the beach to accompany a nap. 


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