EP Review | The Candescents – ‘Riverside Dr.’

The Candescents - Riverside Dr.

The Candescents Debut EP ‘Riverside Dr.’ Bottles up Sunshine!

The latest star in Dirty Hit’s pop-studded skies are Ohio-based foursome, The Candescents. Born out of the blue, with nothing to their name, they have joined the ranks of The 1975, Pale Waves and King Nun seemingly without effort. Their debut EP, ‘Riverside Dr.’ is the first affirmation of exactly who The Candescents are, and what we can expect from a band who don’t warm up, but jump right in.

Back of Your Hand’ is the perfect precis of The Candescents’ sound: sky-punching, all-American optimism is brought to us through anthemic choruses and bubbling guitar riffs. Nonetheless, their pop sensibilities have a tearaway edge which, at times, make that bubble-gum sweetness a little sour to taste – they’re all the more fun for it.

This duality between The Candescents’ attention to sparkling pop surfaces and the feeling that they’re mocking it is best illustrated in ‘Boyfriend’. The scratch of fingers sliding down strings anchors the seamless instrumentals and melodic “ooh’s” of vocalist Alex Harris.

It can easily distract from the caustic lyrics that raise a smirk; “I don’t wanna be your boyfriend (ooh)”, Harris croons with unassuming sweetness, “We can go out if you’re desperate (ooh)”. Nothing better shows The Candescents’ attitude of refusing to take themselves seriously, being unafraid to favour fun.

Chinese New Year’ has a diner-music rhythm, with languid, southern guitar sections. It’s sweet and refreshing, like the first taste of fresh orange juice on a hot day. It’s easy to let your mind wander; ‘Chinese New Year’ has the kind of pace perfect for a hammock-swinging, summer afternoon.

It’s ramped up a notch for the closer, ‘2.am’. The more you listen, the more The Candescents run parallel to Indoor Pets’ vibrancy. It’s a genre in itself – these bands that sound like bottled sunshine.

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LISTEN TO THE FULL EP

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October 2018
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