Ayrton Senna EP

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Label: Fool House

Barcelona pop-quartet Delorean’s new EP, Ayrton Senna, is equal parts bubbly summer cheer and carefully designed pop smoothness- more remarkable than the infectiousness of the former is the appeal of the latter. While many elaborately composed songs can be off-putting in their glossiness, Delorean has managed to pull off four tracks (and a remix) that are warm and appealing in their sheen. These songs are clearly the product of deliberate construction rather than spirited improvisation, but wear no worse for it.

The first track, “Seasun,” makes good on its own pun, beginning with omnipresent synth- a bracing start that sounds like sunlight pouring through a curtain. After isolated piano notes and wordless vocals break through the mix, it’s as summery a song as I can think of. The vocals are kept low through most of the EP, but never so deliberately murky as this first track; though, what do words matter to something so catchy? The following “Deli” puts funkier, reverbed guitars and a deep, nearly disco-fied bassline to a more traditional song structure, melding house bliss and lyrics like “I like the time I spent with you, girl/ We would always sleep tight/ We would always feel right” into something that manages to escape triteness, if only just.

“Big Dipper” takes the overlapping mix even further, with driving keyboards and synths becoming difficult to tell from the female backing vocals. The echoing guitars remain, but the faster tempo of the song and the refrain of “Round and round we go” become more reminiscent of Ibiza-era New Order than funk. Finally, “Moonson” takes the final step and distorts the instrumentation so far that it becomes difficult to identify anything clearly but drums and vocals, not a negative thing. It’s as though by this point in the EP, pretending that anything matters but the driving beat and dense mix would just ring too false.

The strange thing is, everything that manages to be a virtue on Ayrton Senna would almost certainly be a fatal flaw on any full-length release. The blissfulness of its four tracks (the remix is fun, but hardly necessary) could not possibly be sustained for anything longer than the 25 minutes they take. That’s enough- it’s a wonderful fun, bright piece of music and should be taken as that.

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