Simpatico is the sophomore album from Golden Daze. As the album begins we hear dual singer-songwriters Jacob Loeb and Ben Schwab chanting the album’s opening line in a unison so finely tuned it becomes impossible to differentiate their voices.
“Blue Bell”, this initial, inviting track, merges their separate identities so as to initiate the listener into their shared landscape–the troubled, hopeful world of Simpatico. Over a pair of softly hypnotic, interlocking guitars, the singers deliver their sentiment with an unbridled yearning, equal parts hopeful realization and admission of guilt.
Loeb and Schwab formed Golden Daze in 2013 following a collision of friendship and shared musical sensibilities that spanned Portland, Los Angeles and their overlapping Midwestern roots. Originally conceived with an acoustic styling, their self-titled debut emerged as something more lo-fi, characterized by washes of electric guitar and drones. Following US-tours alongside artists like Woods, Whitney and Twin Peaks, small glimmers of Simpatico began to emerge.
At the heart of the record’s sonic identity is a conversation between friends, between artistic collaborators, and yet also between artist and audience. Simpatico speaks to something deeply personal but it does so with the insistence that we, the listener, are a kind of witness. From its first tentative offer to “stick around”, Simpatico is a journey of discovery, of forgiveness, of surrender, one that culminates in the quiet, self-assured farewell of its final track: I’ll still be around my friend.
My favorite track: Flowers
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