Album Review: Delorean – Ayrton Senna [EP]

Blame it on the digital age or on my old age, but one of my biggest musical pet peeves is when I hear an LP that should be an EP. I’m one peeved music fan if I can’t bear to sit through an album because it sounds like a smorgasbord of songs with no cohesion and ultimately no purpose, as if the artist knew fans would just keep the mp3s they want and discard the rest. I’ll give bloated albums some leeway if the artist has an obvious aim for the collection, even if it fails to materialize. But filler just for the sake of stretching the running time is a no-no.

Of course, with an EP, you’re often left wanting more. Most recently Little Boots’ Arecibo EP left me wanting a lot more—almost to an aggravating degree. It was a nice teaser but felt a bit incomplete, especially because two of the four tracks were remixes. So, I approached Delorean’s Ayrton Senna EP with the some apprehension. Five tracks, including one remix and one bonus track. It could’ve been underwhelming, but it’s surprisingly tight and enjoyable.

The Barcelona-based act has put out full-length work in Spain, but they only recently gained fame with their remixes—most notably for The Teenagers’ “No Love” and Glasser’s “Glad”. If you’ve heard those remixes, you know that Delorean is respectful of the original tracks but not afraid to bring their own brand of dance to the forefront. Listen to “Deli”, Ayrton Senna’s opening track, and you’ll hear a band who shares Cut Copy’s fondness for synthpop with live pop instrumentation laid over it. The major difference here is Ekhi Lopetegi’s pop-punk vocals that sound like they have origins in a West Coast garage band rather than Barcelona. He sings “Yeah, I like the time that I spend with you, girl” with the sheepish excitement of a high school boy in love. The simplicity of the lyrics and message succeed because they give the repetitive music space to breathe. Delorean goes through great pains to avoid sensory overload and is all the better for it.

“Moonsoon” is a track that, in a fair world, would be 2009’s summer anthem. It’s equal parts Passion Pit and Phoenix, but not derivative enough to be bothersome. If anything, it makes you imagine how well all three bands’ discographies would blend together. The way “Seasun” fades in, you realize there’s some purpose to this sequencing. “Seasun” is the laid back sibling of “Moonsoon.” It hardly has any vocals, and the ones it does have are buried so low in the mix that the wordless harmonies and handclaps outshine them at every turn. Mysteriously credited as a bonus track, “Big Dipper” is perhaps the best song on the collection and matches perfectly with the ominously pleasant artwork. The cover shot freezes a jumping pale redheaded woman in a mustard dress as golden flecks float around her. The slightly frantic pace of “Seasun” coupled with synth strings allude to a quickly fading summer romance you want to keep within your grasp. Perpetually love struck Lopetegi sings, “But if you want to we can run away up into the sun”. And until you hear the last beats die, you believe in his youthful hope.

Even if Ayrton Senna is too late (and obscure) in the game to become the season’s soundtrack, it deserves to be heard. Delorean also deserves praise for making an EP that sounds like more than a placeholder until an LP comes out or a bloated vehicle for a single. Ayrton Senna is about clichés like love and having fun, but it’s OK. With this delivery, it’s just what it should be.

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Ayrton Senna [EP]


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