There's something especially romantic about this time of year. As summer bleeds into autumn, the days seem to dim into a balmy, extended dusk—everything feels warm and intimate. Many have tried to capture this sentiment but it's a tricky, almost ineffable thing, much more difficult to translate than the pure bliss of summer itself. The end-of-summer ditty, when aptly accomplished, has the potential to be downright stunning, and Sandy's Prom EP is comprised of five tunes that are just that.
Sandy's is the "psych pop surf" project of California's Alexi Glickman, previously of Santa Cruz's acclaimed but very short-lived Botticellis. Following the band's unexpected breakup, Glickman spent some time touring and honing his craft as a solo songwriter before dropping Sandy's debut, Fourth Dementia, last summer. The record garnered heavy praise for mixing complex, sunny arrangements with a rather dark melancholia—the product of uncertain and troubled times for Glickman. Over a year later, Prom, in comparison, offers a slightly more stripped-down aesthetic, though it retains the vintage charm that made Fourth Dementia so likable.
“Charming,” in fact, might be the ideal word for all five tunes contained in this EP. From the moment that opening track “Prom Song” blips into focus, we feel awash in languid coziness, indeed much like the feeling of swaying gently in the arms of a special sweetheart. It’s one of the loveliest instrumentals I’ve personally heard in a while, and perfectly captures a certain starry-eyed, though vaguely wistful kind of contentment. “Consolidated Identity” continues in this line of feeling, pairing lilting, delay-heavy guitar riffs with woeful vignettes like “Smile at you in passing.” The next track, “Slumber Room,” highlights Glickman’s vocal abilities with overlapping harmonies that call Fleet Foxes to mind, while “Elliott’s Etude” opens the EP’s second side with more dulcet instrumentals. “We Can Pretend” is the natural closer, a soft farewell that feels like the kind of tune you’d enjoy from the backseat of a car driving into the sunset.
Together the five songs form the perfect complement to the closing of another summer, and happily hint at closure of another kind for Glickman. “Gone are the bad days,” he says, as he “waits for a new friend” (“Consolidated Identity”). With Prom, we can quietly relish the wait along with him.