Time Capsules II, the debut album by Brooklyn’s Oberhofer, is lyrically and musically focused on the ecstatic rush of young love and the emotional fragility attached to it. From the dramatic, fluttering piano intro of “Heart”, it’s evident that Oberhofer has set its ambitions sky-high. The spiraling orchestral build leads into the shimmering guitar on “Landline”. Here, frontman Brad Oberhofer sings with his heart on his sleeve (where it remains for the entirety of Time Capsules II), delivering earnest emotional lines like “And you fell down again/Well darling let me pick you up ’cause you were right/This time/Last time/Please tell me that you know.”
Oberhofer excels at maintaining the nervous energy that drives the best moments of Time Capsules II, only faltering in the last two tracks “Haus” and “Homebro” by recycling hooks and harmonies. Still though, over the first eight tracks, the band expertly weaves anthemic summertime rockers like “oOoO” and “Cruising FDR”, all while mixing in tribal dance ballad and album highlight “Yr Face”, on which Oberhofer channels Microphone’s classic The Glow Pt. 2, singing, “When I saw your face/I knew I was in love/Right away/When I saw those eyes looking into mine/I knew I was in love.”
The jittery, xylophone-driven “I Could Go” is the perfect summation of the album, mixing all the elements that make Time Capsules II such a welcome debut. The song’s soaring falsetto chorus, crunchy guitars, lovelorn lyrics, whistling, and galloping drumbeat all explode into a crescendo fit to fill an arena. It’s a credit to Oberhofer to take such small moments and build them into such a feeling of importance.
Time Capsule II, imperfections and all, is a confident and promising debut that will leave you wondering where Brad Oberhofer and his cohorts go from here. But, for the moment, it will leave you thumbing through your old yearbooks looking for that first love that stole your heart.
Essential Tracks: “Yr Face”, “I Could Go”, “Heart”, and “Landline”