If summer 2010 has a signature sound — at least in the land of indie pop — Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils have nailed it with their self-titled debut. Think sun-drenched lawn chairs and drugstore sunglasses. Think beaches. Think sand. With song titles like “Daydream,” “Vacation,” and, yes, “Lazy Day,” it’s the perfect soundtrack for idle times and happy dreams.
The album, much like other bands in the so-called “beach genre” (Best Coast, Wavves, Washed Out, to name a few), works the lo-fi angle. But Beach Fossils distinguishes themselves with their subtle, purposeful use of reverb, creating an overall sound that’s more melancholy, more hauntingly nostalgic, and less fuzzy than their counterparts. The band launched last year as a solo project of frontman Dustin Payseur, who single-handedly recorded and mixed most of the album and then recruited members to form the current quartet.
On all eleven songs, the jangly guitar is always the hook, plucking out single string melodies that wash over the simple drumbeats like gentle waves. Frontman’s vocals may be a mish-mash of tinny, indecipherable murmurs and slacker speak, but it hardly matters. Payseur’s appeal lies in the echo-like quality of his voice. Whispering over each track, he conjures memories of beaches past — or beaches that might have been. (Captured Tracks)