Newfoundland has had a surprisingly great summer (I’m totally jinxing it just by typing these words). We’ve been blessed by some iceberg loving deity, who prefers sun smattered fields and cool breezes and we must not, by any means, ruin this (I’m sorry if I’ve angered the gods by mentioning it).
So take advantage – get out and enjoy a Park Day. Or a Beach Day. Or Beach Day by Park Day – A slick little EP by some familiar faces who have carved their names into the bedpost of St. John’s music.
They’ve also earned the favour of the sunburnt spirit; they’ve got catchy jams that fit well within the mold of the St. John’s sound that they’ve helped to design through other projects. Coming from acts like Bleu and Sleepy, these 4 lads have been the keepers of live indie rock in St. John’s over the past year or more.
Park Day is the brainchild of Adam Ravalia and Zach Dalley. Ravalia is perhaps best known as the Rick-toting bass player from the live lineup of Bleu – but he’s not standing in the background here.
Both the aforementioned Beach Day EP and the Sentient RPM reflect an independent knack for songwriting. While there’s certainly echoes of the Bleu sound (Marcus McLaughlin drums here), it’s a separate entity with a well-defined identity. Think of them as siblings.
The 4 songs on Beach Day are standout pop tracks. Recorded by seasoned vet Krisjan Leslie at his Lab of Chaos during the fall of 2016, it’s a multidimensional pulse towards each hook.
Each song is reliant towards that end; towards a resolution of sound. They take many twists and turns to get there, whether it’s traversing through horn-filled exploits or airy jaunts off into more exploratory territory. Tailored towards that dynamic brand of indie rock, it’s polished and friendly, groovy and colourful.
On the other hand, there’s the Sentient RPM, recorded by McLaughlin during February 2017 in much the same manner as the Bleu releases. Raw and broad, the essence of each track is front and center. It’s a more peaceful little trip, with some smooth detours. It’s a little more low-key than Beach Day, but also a little brighter. It has a signature melancholy. It’s more jammy, more jangly, looser, less polished, but honest. When everything is stripped down to the minor sevenths and closed hat grooves, the band shines a little brighter.
The releases strike their own balance. They’re both lovely little pieces full of catchy hooks and grooves. When you settle in, it’s all really about what you want to take from them – and there’s lots available. Check them both out on bandcamp or go watch Park Day in person and decide for yourself.