Hollywood, Florida’s Beach Day have a pretty concrete plan stated in their band name alone: their debut record, Trip Trap Attack, aims to be the soundtrack to an easygoing, sand-filled day. No more, no less. Frontwoman Kimmy Drake told Nylon to go into the album “just to hang out and have fun–it’s not serious.” And, while that sentiment holds true, the moments of warmth and nostalgic bliss are paired with mindless tracks that go through the motions of mining the surf pop and girl group past.
“It’s a beach day, baby, and I’m coming to pick you up,” Drake croons to open the title track of the trio’s album. Skipping cymbals and simple, choppy guitar provide the background, soaring harmonies and handclaps filling things out. “Beach Day” is the kind of arch-summer-pop that makes the likes of Best Coast and Tennis seem ornate by comparison.
“Walking on the Streets” opens on a charming giggle, unraveling into a traditional jangle of longing and pain over a lover who has left. “All I want is boys/ All I need is boys,” Drake repeats on the equally simply titled “Boys”, as if trying to outdo the simplicity and well-worn path of the preceding track. But, no matter how many cliches they trade in, Beach Day have a knack for finding the right energy, “Boys” bouncing away on a loose-swinging organ line.
Add to that Drake’s rich, satiny delivery and Beach Day have developed a recipe to save relatively safe songwriting. The “oh, please don’t leave” trope is buoyed by Drake’s wavering pleading and a fist-pumping lead guitar. That said, emulating the sounds of the past without adding new wrinkles leads to a homogenized disc, the same scampering rhythm playing from one track to the next. Drake and Co. did manage to soundtrack a fun day at the beach, but unfortunately that usually means pleasantly filling in the background and not much more.
Essential Tracks: “Beach Day” and “Walking on the Streets”