The Verde - salad days
I won’t kid you the EP Salad Days by The Verde aka Alex Erickson is not an easy listen. The production is extremely lo-fi, often muddy; the songs lack harmony and it feels like a disjointed dream that bleeds into your reality. That being said there are some appealing aspects on this EP, which unveil themselves with repeated listens. The most important one being that underneath the lo-fi production there are pop songs that get stuck in your head.
Erickson has a knack for concocting catchy vocal melodies that sound exuberant not unlike that you might expect from Brian Wilson (on the last half of Salad Days at least). Erickson while still having room for improvements creates catchy surf songs that often feel twisted and in desperate need of better production.
The first song on the EP is called “I’ve Got Bad News” and it feels like a deviation from the rest of the album. Erickson sings in a lower octave that sounds exaggerated while delayed guitars create a curtain of white noise. His lyrics are masked by the instrumentation and I wouldn't have been able to understand a single word he said if it wasn’t for the lyric sheet. The end of the song creates such a swirl of chaotic lo-fi sounds it becomes enjoyably psychedelic.
The highlight of the EP for me was “Pomegranate Seeds,” which sounds haunting, dissonant and oddly catchy. He creates an inventive dichotomy between the vocals and the music. The vocals are affected and lay low in the mix as if he is singing from a different dimension. He sings; “At the bottom of the sea lies fair Persephone In the springtime of her life she colored her lips with pomegranate seeds.” There is an Ariel Pink type quality to this song that makes it stand out.
“Time Killer” and “Salad Days” both have their roots in 50’s surf rock. The vocal melody in both songs spews with positive vibes. Erickson closes with “Sometimes The Moon” which sounded the best production-wise.
I would love to hear better production on his future endeavors but Erickson has started a solid foundation of songs he can build upon.
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