Seattle's Seapony is the latest grad from the academy of lo-fi, lady-fronted surf rock--alma mater to recent bands like Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Grass Widow. And while the trio gets the formula right on its debut album, Go With Me (Hardly Art)--Beach Boys-esque guitar lines, stoney, messy-haired vocals, hand claps--Seapony stumbles, like Best Coast, on the lyrical front.
Take the guitar-driven track "Into the Sea," which features the Snorkels-worthy lyrics: "Just like the rain falls down / falls down on me / into the sea / into the sea." Or the hand-clappy song "So Low," in which vocalist Jen Weidl sing-songs, "I am so low when you go / I miss you every day / I wish you'd stay."
According to the band's bio, Weidl and primary songwriter Danny Rowland are romantically involved:
"[Rowland] writes the songs for Jen because he thinks her voice shimmers amidst all that distortion, whereas his just sounds rotten."
If you can get past, or completely tune out, Rowland's cliched lyrics, Go With Me has an undeniable atmospheric charm. The second track "I Never Would," sounds like it would slip effortlessly into a Sofia Coppola movie.
On a recent drive through a late-spring sun-shower--windshield wipers wicking away a layer of grime that had settled from the flowering trees, road lines blurring in and out of clarity with each swipe--Go With Me turned out to be the perfect accompaniment. The songs melted together into a lovely, humid, hypnotic mess.
In a way, Seapony feels like the musical equivalent to the Hipstamatic iPhone app--the camera filter that gives your photos a color-saturated '70s sheen. The end result is inauthentic but undeniably pretty.