There are a few albums out there that feel so natural, almost inevitable, that I end up with very little to say about them after a first listen. The last track fades out and the only thought I'm left with is, "of course that's what it sounded like, how else could it have gone?" It's not an indictment of the songwriting at all—in fact, it might be one of the highest compliments I can give. And it's exactly what I was thinking as the final few notes of Seapony's third LP, A Vision, scampered out of my stereo.
The record opens on a sound that's become pretty familiar these days: the rough, echoing beat of a lonely drum machine. I think it's officially something of a trope now (one that I love deeply), meant to convey a bit of self-deprecation before the band really gets into it. "We're not trying to be virtuosos," it says, "so let's all just kick back and have fun for a bit." After two measures, that's exactly what Seapony does.
"Saw the Light" sets a beachy, lackadaisical tone that sticks around for the rest of the album. Even when the mood varies a bit, the fact that these are all sun-drenched, slightly-melancholy love songs is never far from the listener's mind. It's not repetitive or bland, they simply manage to pick a theme and stick with it.
None of the tracks are particularly long, with "Hollow Moon" taking the lead at a radio-friendly 3:22 (the entirety of A Vision is barely over thirty minutes). Seapony clearly like to keep things moving, which meshes well with their style—no individual track is going to blow your mind, but taken as a whole the album crafts a beautiful tapestry of different sounds. There's everything from Best Coast-esque surf rock ("Let Go") to straight acoustic folk ("Go Nowhere"), all of which complement each other brilliantly.
My only worry was that, being such a short record, A Vision would be as ephemeral as each of its component pieces. Instead, that's turned out to be a strength. Because it isn't an hour-long slog, it never becomes a chore like so many other hazy surf-pop albums can. This is bite-sized in every way, from the songs to the LP as a whole, making it easy to come back and listen to over and over. I guarantee it'll be seeing heavy rotation in your car for the rest of the summer, and probably quite a bit beyond.