Indie rock band Earthboy hit the ground running with high energy and interesting songs on their 2018 self-titled EP, on which each part is nestled comfortably against the other. Earthboy reorients their sound in a more acoustic, lo-fi form with double single release Bandaid + Chaser, and seem to lose some of their complexity in the process. Bandaid is a warbly and quirky song, with highly repetitive sections and lowly muttered, stream of consciousness descriptions of a first and second date. Strangely matter of fact, the song reads as a disoriented attempt at grounding throughout the experience, the speaker sort of explaining to themselves what’s happening with an analytical eye. The spacey synth’s interaction with the bass really drives the energy of the song, as the vocals don’t necessarily command the listeners attention for better or worse. Just short of two minutes, the song doesn’t make much of an impression. The two line hook “Bandaid on my hand/Red paint whats the plan” sounds hollow, and doesn’t seem to add to the song as a whole.
Chaser, the stronger of the two songs, dives further into the loneliness hinted at in “Bandaid”. Leaning further into an indie pop sound, Chaser explores a fruitless pursuit of meaningful relationships. It dives in immediately with the opening line “I don’t even know if I need friends”, the speaker stumped as to what exactly they are doing wrong. The songs tone briefly switches from confused exhaustion to passive cheeriness, in a short story in which the speaker sacrifices their money and time for a relationship but doesn’t know why. The passing sighs of background vocals and wobbly, floating synth lines combined with the lo-fi qualities of the song create a strong sonic atmosphere which takes on a life of its own as the song ends.
As seen in works like Pup and Concrete, Earthboy has a knack for adding a little bit of weird magic to a familiar indie rock sound. Bandaid + Chaser is far from a bad release, but forgoes some of that refined weirdness for of a tighter but less dynamic sound.
- Easy listening
- Dynamic arrangement
- Occasional weak lyrics
- Notably repetitive