Animal Daydream at Fear and Loathing

I remember being a little kid, agitated and bored in the backseat of our family station wagon. I was young enough not to be in school but old enough to be aware of what was around me. I would have to ride along with my mom to pick my dad up from his job. It felt like it was always gray, always cold, and everything just stood still, nothing to look forward to in the near future. I just witnessed people looking miserable, doing their daily routines and it depressed the hell out of me. Why the fuck would I want to be an adult? What a drag! What a serious fucking drag. I would escape into my head while sitting restlessly in the car, listening to the softer rock featured on AM Radio at the time. I would dream of places that had nonstop sunshine, full moons every night, and people who talked to each other about exciting things.

The radio was a friend that gave this dreary atmosphere a mysterious soundtrack, made-for-television movies about teen runaways made me feel like I possibly had a chance to go somewhere else. Those last words from the lost souls of the lost late 1970s haunted me in the early 1980s. The luminous sullenness of Fleetwood Mac, Gary Wright, and America held a darker meaning. It was the sound of neighborhood couples having affairs, going to strange parties, and losing their way in an impromptu sexual revolution.

Animal Daydream’s Citrus EP takes the soft strains of dark feelings and polishes them with a charismatic college-rock blade. The opening track “Citrus” lifts off immediately, with a contagious cocaine fluidity. The abundant harmonies and vibrant strumming bring to mind the retro daze of Fleet Foxes. The Brian Wilson bliss of “Sun (Turn Around)” has a nice touch of psychedelic expansiveness that beams into the ultraviolet buzz. “All That You Can Give” keeps the blissful flow moving along with a slight detour into folk rock balladry. Closing out this four-track collection of retro softer rock eccentricity is the choice cut, “In My Room”. This track has a serene and wired aloofness that eerily echoes the vibes of the Love classic, Forever Changes. If you’re looking for something different, then look this way.

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