Dropout mixes the reverb-laden daydreams of shoegaze with a decidedly pop approach.
In the spirit of summer and all the adventures awaiting us as we venture into the great outdoors, here’s a little project called Dropout. This debut EP from up-and-coming Toronto quintet Too Young to Go Steady mixes the reverb-laden daydreams of shoegaze with a decidedly pop approach to song structure. It’s the kind of radio-ready dream-pop that could easily soundtrack the trailer to the next big indie project.
Bass guitar serves a prominent role on Dropout, and the mixing puts it at the forefront on “Ben” and the more ‘80s New Wave stylings of “Video Hits” in a way that recalls bands like The Cure and Beach House. The guitar riffs on the album are gently arpeggiated, though standout solos on both “Video Hits” and “Dissenters” show a much more playful side to these arrangements.
These elements all culminate in the very first sonic impression of this band: “All Eyes On You”. The opening track is an emotional powerhouse, with absolutely killer harmonies and a chorus that will both wow you and may result in some tear-shedding. The impressive range of vocal stylings lends to some captivating performances, that recall the best parts of vocalists like Beth Gibbons and Hope Sandoval; these vocals portray a character that is vulnerable, but open to change. The title track closes out the EP with a sense of adventure and self-growth, as Too Young To Go Steady kick into high gear near the end.
Dropout surprised me with how much it pays respect to the past and carves its own way forward. Lyrics from several songs on this EP paint a clearer picture: “When you look at me, there’s no reason to hide” flows superbly into “I think you’re like me, looking for another”. The music and the lyrics prove that Too Young To Go Steady are a band that are willing to take divergent paths in their songwriting, and the songs are all the better for it.