We don’t often get emails from artists asking to us review their music. Or many emails at all for that matter. Other than notifications about new twitter followers or the occasional canned spam, our inbox stays fairly empty most of the time, until recently at least. Someone seems to have turned on a virtual faucet, opening our email up to a semi-trickle of messages from interested folks.
Since we’d never really received any requests from musical artists before, I wasn’t really sure what to anticipate open listening to “I’m to Blame,” the debut single by dreamy Los Angeles duo-ish Boardwalk, the first folks to ever shoot us a message asking us to take a listen to one of their songs. But luckily, what lay beyond the link included in this email was a delight.
Boardwalk takes a distinctively California sound and wraps it in a warm cottonball of shoegaze and syrup. It’s dream pop woven together out of sunshine and waffle yarn, with a tinge of regret lying quietly beneath. The delicately-crafted instrumentals act like a rubber raft against Amber Quintero’s vocals, allowing them to float smoothly on down a river of sound. It manages to balance a slightly quiet chilliness with the serenity of the season we presently find ourselves in. Like other recent tracks such as Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Wu-Tang Clan’s “Family Reunion,” it provides a shady respite from the sweat of summer without giving way to fluff and shallowness, although it provides a sense of subtlety and calm often lost in the heat and not found in the numbers I previously mentioned. And like these other songs, it’s also found its way near the top of my current playlist.
Listen to “I’m to Blame” here, and look for their first album later this year on Stones Throw Records.