“San Francisco dream rock with a darker side”
The Soonest’s latest release, Quarters EP, exemplifies the phrase, “less is more.” The San Francisco rock band, formerly known as Lion Riding Horses, sound much bigger than their four-part roster might suggest. While it only boasts four tracks, the production on each song exhibits a noticeable level of care.
The EP opens with “Ghosts,” a song appropriately titled with its haunting characteristics. Guitar arpeggios layer nicely with echoing sustain as vocals float listlessly across. Frenetic drum riffs propel the track forward, taking the dream pop characteristics of the song into a heftier level. The following track, “I Don’t Mind,” seems most reminiscent of the popular indie pop songs of our day. The boisterous drum riffs remind the listener of bands like Vampire Weekend, though The Soonest delivers in a manner more serious. “King” offers a bit of ballad with its longing lyrics and pop-influenced background vocals. The loving touch of ambient sounds and songwriting extend into the EP’s final track, “Ready.”
Vocals and instrumentation are rich, and the pacing of builds and lulls work refreshingly. It’s a balance that’s hard to execute. As a set, Quarters EP works effectively as an intro to a band already on the rise. (Self-released)
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Lori D. Brackney and Jose Rosa at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts
– Keane Li