Surf pop has had an unexpected resurgence in the past few years, spearheaded by Best Coast front woman Bethany Cosentino and her sundrenched garage rock about boy troubles. Seattle’s Seapony and its front woman Jen Weidl take the same lo-fi formula and execute it with sweeter precision on Falling, the band’s second full-length (released Sept 11). The album makes a strong case for Seattle’s indie surf pop sound—perhaps Seapony could, with time, best the Best Coast.
Seapony isn’t reinventing the wheel on Falling; the band is just giving it a good polishing with Turtle Wax. All the surf pop trademarks are there: fuzzy guitar, rhythmic simplicity, Dick Dale-lite guitar leads, and a general carefree vibe. It’s easy to imagine Weidl swaying in a sundress while singing about "Sunlight."
Here’s the thing about Seapony: You’re either in or you're out after one song. Variety isn’t the band’s strong point (heck, I’d argue the Ramones had a more diverse sound) but Seapony's singular song structure—tweaked on 12 different tracks—is still immensely satisfying. What keeps the band from wearing thin is the contrast of Weidl's lyrics to the music's sunny disposition. Most of Seapony's songs (“Never Be,” “What You Wanted,” “Sunlight,” etc.) are melancholy ditties about how things aren’t going to work out in the end. Falling manages to provide a one-way ticket to Bummertown without moody wallowing; this effortless blending of a happy veneer and a sad core is what will keep listeners coming back.