Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Party Boat on Jet Pack Records - interview with lead singer Ben

The tropical indie sound has nothing to do with geography. Take Real Estate for example - and I know what you're thinking, "But what about the Jersey Shore?" That massive tough guy carnival has little to do with their laid back suburban summer sound. It was the soundtrack to endless boredom, almost looking to go back to school. No one's thinking about tomorrow or where they're supposed to be in a few years. Combine that wet summer sound with the harmonies and layers of the surf garage '60s and you've got Saratoga, NY's Party Boat.

A-Side's "Little Fish" has a rolling sea rhythm like the waves crashing and that could be where some of that tropical feel comes from. The inherent rhythm of the tides, their fluttery high hat and this xylophone opening melody. The vocal harmonies even find ways to crash against each other - the way Ben opens on his own with mottled woodblocks and batik drum skins, a song full of some kind of hope, definitely looking for the sunshine and rooted in that '60s sound; a little bit beach boys and a lot in common with The Dodos or Ski Lodge. It's an optimistic indie sound...and I swear I heard seagulls a one point and water lapping against a dock. It's a blinding haze that supports the lyric:

You swam into my dreams / just like a little fish

The reverb disappears further and further away like that lifeboat off into the distance. You changed your mind at the last minute and staying here forever won't be so bad after all.

"Don't Stress" opens in vocal harmony, but Ben isn't taking it too seriously, cracking up but still showcasing his strong vocal in this laid back electric driven track with loose vibrato. A heavy chorus takes it's time in winding drives, taking the back way home until it hits an epic peak, getting to the top of the mountain and the city just over the hill comes into view with a heavy ride cymbal. They've got a sure sense of instrumentation and other sun worshippers, Tennis or The Annuals come to mind. Party Boat is focused on settling into the vibe having something to do with the vacation destination Saratoga but mostly bringing the right people together who are intent on delivering that beachy garage inspired harmony indie rock. It's a great single to introduce the band and is easily going to sell out of this limited run.

Get it from Jet Pack Records. Exclusive stream of both tracks below.

Darren and I got a chance to talk to Ben from Party Boat this weekend about his single. We talked about how they recorded the single and ended up on Jet Pack Records, home recording versus live in the studio and our mutual love of anything analog. They have a release party in Saratoga this Saturday at the Circus Cafe 392 Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY.

Get the show here.

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