Way out West: Sustains
Posted: by The Editor
FFO: Little Big League, Pity Sex
You may recognize this band from my 2016 EOTY list. If you trusted me enough to check this band out then, congratulations. If not- here’s your chance to get in on this under appreciated Southern California gem. Hailing from Moorpark, California- Sustains makes me feel like I’m back in Southern California on the cusp of early summer, right as daylight is starting to fade and everything is orange and pink. It’s warm, inviting, and slightly familiar. Their debut album, self titled Sustains was put out in July of last year, a more than fitting time frame.
Bypassing the overdone “California Surf Rock” cliche, Sustains is a unique and more energized play on the now popular shoegaze/dream pop/grunge revival band. Vocalists Julia and Alex effortlessly allow the emotional and catchy lyrics to tumble out of their mouths, only to join the surrounding droning sounds of fuzzy layered guitars galore. Punchy basslines drive the songs to their fullest potential, allowing no moment to be a dull one. A nod to the return of simplistic and stripped down 90’s spacey grunge, Sustains begins where the rest of the revivalist movement ends. The “lo-fi” production flawlessly cultivates the homegrown feeling naturally occurring in the music, and does a wonderful job of neither adding too much or taking away too much- a difficult line to not only find, but walk. Just about everything about Sustains walks a perfect balance. Tracks are 2 and a half to 3 minutes in length, holding your attention without leaving you hanging. My favorite part about this band though, is that they perfectly execute what it is I love about dream pop as a whole. Under the right listening conditions, Sustains isn’t just creating music, they’re creating an atmosphere. It’s the hazy, foggy, surrounding feeling and sound that gave the genre it’s name- dream pop. Sustains executes this atmospheric feeling without falling into the common almost “corporate” esq sound often found in any revivalist sound, including the dream pop revival. I think it’s safe to say that everyone will find something nostalgic and comforting in this band. (If you don’t believe me- just listen to the opening riff of “Star Fed”)
Find them on:
See ya next week!
-Delaney | @loser513