Allen Orr aka Paper Pools recently released his debut EP entitled It’s in Our Mind. Orr mentions he “was born and raised in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a millenarian Christian denomination he left behind, before setting out on a winding journey of self-exploration. It’s been a long, strange trip, but it’s all right there in the music: the peaks, the valleys and the years of the soulful longing.”
After a quick intro simply called “Intro,” the EP starts off with “Evil” which is an upbeat and catchy tune. It sounds somewhere between MGMT and Tame Impala with an emphasis on the former. The instrumental parts are funky and cosmic sounding while the vocals are well delivered and smooth. It's strong with a distinct hook. Great opener and I was excited to hear more.
“Familiar” is also funky but a little lush and sprinkled with a midnight misty quality. It's synth heavy and a couple of artists came to mind including Blood Orange. The song is slick and borderline sensual while feeling refined and classy. Great vibe and energy that would sound great in a club or late night lounge.
“Turn On Your Lights” contains some very inventive synth sounds. The song has an incredibly catchy hook. I loved how this song builds with more layers as well. The verse contains long looming and ominous pads. This synth did sound a little odd at first because it gave an introspective like quality but it sounded better in the mix when other elements were added.
“Through Air” is more or less an interlude leading to “Flying Friends” which starts with organ, a heavy hitting beat and smooth vocals. The funky bass adds some dynamics with other elements sliding in. I loved how the layers came together on this song. You will quickly start bobbing your head and moving your feet. This song has a clear ’70s vibe but also is quite contemporary in the spirit of Daft Punk. Last up is “Portraits” and again it evokes a sense of the night. It’s slick with neon lights, fast cars and images of Ryan Gosling in the movie Drive entered my mind. The song has an epic ending which is cinematic and dynamic. It felt like a closer.
This is a great EP. It goes by fast and on my first listen I found the songs memorable and repeat worthy. It’s a seamless experience with well-written songs and exceptional production value. Fans of the aforementioned bands should enjoy this.
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