Daytona – Daytona

written by: December 2, 2013
Album-art-for-Daytona-by-Daytona Release Date: November 19, 2013


The weather is getting colder, but that doesn’t mean your music has to. The jangly, warm indie-rock trio Daytona’s self-titled LP will keep you company through these chilly times.

The band hails from North Carolina and presently resides in Brooklyn, but makes good use of rampant tribal drum beats and rich harmonies that take listeners away to a warm beach in the height of summer.

It snags inspiration from across the board to make a delightful release teeming with creativity. The band members all come from other groups to form a stellar lineup of experienced musicians. Hunter Simpson of Wild Yaks, Jose Boyer of Harlem, and Chris Lauderdale of the Siberians came together for this album, ultimately embodying a sound entirely alien to their other projects.

Daytona excels at amping listeners up and freeing their minds of worry; it creates an atmosphere to get lost in, in which one can escape the dreary things that bog down the mind.

It’s strange to hear such a light album come from musicians who have habitually released fuzzy, disgruntled garage rock jams, but Daytona pulls it off better than most. When comparing Daytona to last year’s debut release, the Storm So Long EP, it’s clear the band has abandoned its past.

The new direction these musicians have taken is somewhat unexplored, combining harmonies à la Fleet Foxes with instrumentals that mimic the youthfulness of Naive Thieves.

From the start of “The Road,” the first track and the single for the record, the trio already has you dancing along. The jolly, vivacious guitar is joined by an equally lively bass line and sporadic drum beat to set the stage for the chorus of odd vocals that heighten the cheerful vibe.

This feeling of exuberance is carried throughout the release, especially on songs like “Honey Honey,” “Old Friend,” and “Metropolitan.” All of these are particularly jovial in nature, and the latter two have singable, crooning choirs that make it impossible to refrain from dancing and belting out along with the lighthearted tracks.

Then there are songs like “Maria,” which plays around with interesting time signatures and otherwise unused sound effects to add a fun, quirky element to the music. It transitions seamlessly from the group’s typical fast, uplifting verses to the slow chorus and acoustic-driven bridge near the end, showing off the members’ versatility as songwriters.

“Ought To Be Law,” is a quick, supple tune that shows Daytona’s reach on the album. The soft, acoustic song still has the warmth of the others, but is a refreshing and mellow break from the overt bullishness of the rest. The drastic change is more than welcome, helping to keep the album in bloom.

Daytona comes to a close on another catchy song, “Oregon.” Though it is more toned down than most of the preceding tracklist, it fits the band’s roster well. Daytona still makes good use of the characteristically erratic guitar it uses throughout, as well as the pretty harmonies. It’s a fitting end to a great album.

Daytona successfully created a world of its own, throwing listeners right into the beautiful scene for the entirety of its 40-minute debut album. The warm, summery tunes make one yearn for more summer days and more Daytona.

Daytona – Daytona tracklist:

  1. “The Road”
  2. “New Foundation”
  3. “Honey Honey”
  4. “Lighthouse”
  5. “Ought To Be Law”
  6. “Maria”
  7. “Old Friend”
  8. “Metropolitan”
  9. “Raincoat”
  10. “Oregon”