Recalling the easy pop of the sixties and seventies, solo artist Josh Mease has kicked off his latest project Lapland with an album full of starry-eyed charmers. To listen to Lapland’s self-titled debut is to embark on a journey through glistening waters on a candy boat between summer fields, and none of it feels unauthentic or cliche.
The ten tracks span multiple styles of blues-rock and light folk, with Mease centering on a distinctly atmospheric sound to express his talent. “Unwise” begins the album with a tone similar to that of The Postal Service but growing into a slow melody over electronics. This Owl City-meets-Enya approach pervades other songs as well; “Memory” floats like clouds of hushed vocals. It gives the feeling of a fantasy scene in a movie where everything is strangely perfect, and it seems that is the kind of world Mease wants to conjure for his listeners.
Lapland has some hidden gems in it that sparkle brilliantly when picked up. “Fountains” is an airy instrumental ballad with a tropical melody that feels like a swim in a crystalline lagoon. By contrast, “Drink Me Dry” is a Beatles-esque shuffler featuring Mease’s easy vocals that vaguely play off the style of Sonny and Cher‘s famous anthem. A retro-travel mood carries through the tune that remembers flower- and peace-driven hippie songs. Meanwhile, the somber “Soldier” promises, “I’ll be back again someday,” enlisting the bitter mood of a war-bound man. Mease draws on several emotions as he traverses the record, enticing the listener to experience the music more deeply.
It’s obvious that Mease has an ear for softly written pop tunes that shine like diamonds, and he puts this to good use on Lapland’s debut. It’s perfect for long trips in cars on hot summer days. For those who enjoy the sunny toe-tappers from the heyday of artists like Fleetwood Mac and Brian Wilson‘s solo work, Mease will not fail to deliver, and will also connect to the modern indie lover. Lapland is a saccharine romp with endless sunshine that hypnotizes in sublime fashion.
MP3: Lapland “Unwise”