Noon Pacific // 196 Reviewed

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 // 196

  • “Another Century” by Lawrence Arabia — My first thought listening to this was “This is ABBA redux.” It’s a light, airy, disco-minded track. There are differences, of course — namely deep, sultry male vocals instead of ABBA’s dual female leads and a smoother, more modern sound. I know ABBA is the butt of a bunch of jokes, but I honestly don’t think it’s such a bad thing.
  • “Still Here” by Closely — Keys and what sounds like a children’s xylophone start us off before being joined by drums, bass, and a couple synths. There’s a lot of layers here, it’s got a big sound, especially when the chorus picks up with a crash. This is an all-around solid song — we even get a bass solo!
  • “Avalanche” by Billy Fox — Gentle male vocals, jazzy guitars in the verses that turn to wailing classic rock in the choruses, reserved drums straining to be unleashed. This is a great tune — layered, textured, versatile. It’s a full, beautiful tune that’s sure to stick with you.
  • “Wake The Dead” by Nassau — Spooky programmed drums are joined by plucked, reverb-y guitar and even reverbier vocals. There’s even some slide or lap steel guitar that functions as the chorus. This is a sparse, subtly beautiful song.
  • “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers — This tune is very cool. Gorgeous vocals soar across a broad range while bass that sounds almost like a blowing jug and bright, bubbling synth. This is the kind of tune I feel like I’d be doing a disservice to by talking about too much. Just listen to it.
  • “Janet” by M. T. Hadley — With lyrics like “She was diagnosed in the summer / and she died a year later,” I feel awful about it but I do not like this song. Everyone likes a nice squelchy synth every now and then, but it’s practically the only element here and its overdone. Nobody likes to shit on a song about somebody’s dearly departed mother, but the sound cheapens the subject matter to a nearly comical level.
  • “Tonight” by Club Kuru — This song is kind of all over the place, but in a good way. It starts off with a white boy reggae kind of vibe before seguing into a spacey indie rock kind of thing, which flows directly into a driving almost psychedelic rock grove. It’s both nostalgic and forward-thinking.
  • “Float” by Thomston — Compared to the rock-style controlled chaos of the previous, this track is downright tame. It picks up in the choruses in a big, ‘80s synthpop type of way, but the verses are quite soothing, almost peaceful, compliments of half-whispered vocals and soft sustained synth notes.
  • “Judy” by In The Dark — With the exception of a few interesting synth sounds — big, deep science fiction-style blasts and short spurts of a sneakers-on-tile (it sounds better than I’m making it seem) — there isn’t much here that makes it stand out. Pretty standard, run of the mill.
  • At All” by The Tapes — Despite a totally different set of sounds, this track is a lot like the previous — aside from an interesting tone or two, this is just another R&B-inflected electronica tune, one among thousands.

Stand Outs: Billy Fox’s “Avalanche” was an excellently put together tune, Nassau’s “Wake The Dead” said as much with what was left out as with what was included, Maggie Rogers’ “Alaska” was a tiny bit quirky and a ton of fun to listen to, and Club Kuru’s “Tonight” blended genres excellently into a cohesive whole.

Let Downs: I still feel awful about it but M. T. Hadley’s “Janet” just didn’t vibe for me. One sound throughout the song, with no variation.

Verdict: Noon Pacific // 196 was really good, a definite breath of fresh air after last week’s offering. It had an excellent mix of genres — always a big plus for me — and, for the most part, songs that weren’t stellar were at least solid, decent tunes.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.