Noon Pacific

Once a week at roughly 12pm Pacific Standard Time on Monday, a gentleman by the name of Clark Dinnison releases a mixtape of 10 carefully curated songs that are making big waves on his radar. This is Noon Pacific.

Noon Pacific // 193

  • “Memory Lane” by Kolidescopes — Ten weeks after they last appeared on the playlist, Kolidescopes are back with a very different sound. This is a much more… regular offering. Where their last was characterized by really unique, interesting sounds, this track is dominated by fairly standard synths and generic beats.
  • “No Matter Where We Go” by Whitney — This is a song steeped in the traditions of classic rock. Fuzzy rhythm guitar, clear and chirping lead guitar, a surprisingly complex bassline, and nostalgic, nasal vocals. It’s even been produced to sound lo-fi, like you’re spinning an album pressed in the late ‘60s or early ‘70s.
  • “Following The Sun” by M.I.L.K. — Metronome-like programmed drums and highly artificial sounding synth start this track off on a decidedly ‘80s note. The bass, playing a simple but gorgeous disco-influenced line, helps to soften that influence, and delightfully soft vocals and sporadic horns add yet more layers.
  • “Summer Friends” by Chance The Rapper feat. Francis & The Lights — This track gets off to a slow, almost self-indulgent, start — a cappella vocals with an increasing electronics presence (autotune at first, possible talkbox later). It isn’t until almost a full minute in that proper instrumentation kicks in and it begins to resemble a song. For most of the rest, Chance the Rapper does what he does best, and he does it well.
  • “Let Me Go” by Albin Lee Meldau — This tune kicks off with sustained piano and strong but reedy vocals. Muted guitar joins, followed by subdued drums. Richer, fuller vocals take up the prechorus and, at roughly the minute mark, the song explodes — booming drums, blaring guitars, and layered backing vocals flesh out the sound. The cycle repeats twice more before an a cappella outro.
  • “Someone Like You” by Cobrayama feat. Gibbz — A slow jam, this tune is another that starts off with piano and vocals. Electronic elements, mostly on the vocals, are there as well — could be autotune, talkbox, or note-for-note synth. It goes on like this until 1:20 or so, when additional synths and programmed drums kick in for a fuller sound. Lyrically unexciting, despite the heavy emphasis on the vocals, I was kind of glad when this track finally ended.
  • “Remember Me” by HXNS & Paka — Right off the bat I’m intrigued by this song — it opens on light, echo-y percussion and a three-note phrase that sounds like it’s played simultaneously on a marimba and the world’s first synth (it’s a highly electronic, but not unpleasant, sound). Bass and a fuller drumline enter with some down-tempo rapping. Overall a laid back, groovy tune.
  • “Cold To The Touch” by RALPH — This track has a heavy ‘80s pop rock vibe — from the plunky bass, all of the various synths, and the staccato drumline with bongo- and conga-like effects. Even the breakdown has that classic ‘80s sound. Really the only modern part of this track is the vocals, and that makes them seem a little out of place.
  • “SeeThroughDreams” by Kellen — This tune — with its slow plucked guitar, bass-and-snare-only programmed drums, and groaning vocals with drawn out syllables — is strangely haunting. It’s atmospherc and light, bit in an oh-so-slightly creepy way.
  • “Fools And Their Gold” by PLGRMS — This song has a low key radio-ready alternative rock tune, the type that’s toeing the line between rock and pop, or between either and electronic. It starts slow, vocals and fingerpicked electric guitar, with a few mild synth touches. Then it gets big in the chorus, with fuller drums, layered guitar parts, rumbling bass, and more prominent synths.

Stand Outs: The closest thing to a standout this week is Whitney’s “No Matter Where You Go,” a deeply nostalgic, essentially revivalist, modern take on country-inflected classic rock.

Let Downs: I’m going to have to say Kolidescopes’ “Memory Lane” — it’s not bad, per se, but the bar for them was set very high with their track “Night Tales” from Noon Pacific // 183, and this track just doesn’t fulfil that promise.

Verdict: Noon Pacific // 193 has not been my favorite. Not a lot stuck out, and many of the tracks are the same old kind of thing, rehashing sounds we’ve heard time and time again.

Noon Pacific, a labor of love, is updated with a new 10-track mixtape every week. Sign up here — it’s totally free, and you’ll get an email notification every Monday when the new tape goes live.

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