Los Angeles indie rockers Soft Swells are still cranking out summer jams like those from their self-titled debut, but this time with an edge. Admittedly, the edge on their Lifeboats EP mostly comes from a cover of T-Rex’s somewhat ferocious 1972 hit “Children of the Revolution”, a jarring departure from what we’ve come to expect from this breezy duo. It’s a hyped-up electronic track that sounds more like an imitation than a true cover. While the homage is nice, it feels a little like waking up from one of those falling dreams right before you hit the ground.
No matter, though. “Lifeboats” itself, while borrowed from that self-titled debut, is still a tight, catchy stunner, and “Happier”, a new track, is an ode to life in the moment, that comforting place where you can forget about the past and you only need to worry about the future as much as you desire. “You are never gonna be happier than you are right now,” frontman Tim Williams sings. While the prevailing societal feelings suggest skepticism on that front, it’s hard not to enjoy the carpe diem of it all. If ever there was a band that made it easy not to fret about petty things, it is this one.
It would seem that no EP is complete without a remix, and the Absofacto reworking of “Lifeboats” holds that place on this set. While it retains the catchiness of the original, the electronic flourishes don’t add anything transcendent. Think of the remix, and the rest of Lifeboats EP, as a small, dainty appetizer; it sure tastes good, but it mostly just makes you hungry for more.
Essential Tracks: “Lifeboats”, “Happier”