As Travis Bretzer coasts along his acoustic guitar on “Billy & I”, the opening track off his Mexican Summer debut EP, Makin’ Love, a “sweet summer air” caresses the heartstrings with a fun-loving carelessness. The five-song EP is a short and sweet ode to freedom and youth that introduces audiences to the whatever, fuck it man mindset of Edmonton’s latest export.
Such laid back candor creates a dreamy haze across Bretzer’s guitar lines and vocals. On “He’s a Gun”, the young crooner unleashes soulful whole notes as he cruises up and down the higher stringers of his guitar, tacking on adhesive melodies that echo and reinterpret his vocal lines. Other tracks add momentous 12-string guitar strums that thread through the eardrums with bold precision. Each track sparks a new groove that screams for the depth of a full-length, instead.
Lyrically, Bretzer capitalizes on the same gaieties, which range from the cheery “bang! bang!” chants on “He’s a Gun” to a debate on growing old or dying young on “Death Rock”. He even throws some natural Vitamin D on the despair and loneliness of “Hurts So Bad” and “Trying to Learn”, the latter being a confession that shoves off mistakes in lieu of experiencing youth to its fullest.
“Contagious” aptly describes Bretzer’s work. Each song’s instrumentation glows front to back, and never does he close the door on his sensibilities. For a short EP, where each song dies out under three minutes, that’s not exactly Nobel Prize-worthy, but it is a notable effort that should get him a stamp of approval for future outings. And if he keeps up this enviable melodic nonsense, he’ll be slumming with other rebel slackers like Mac DeMarco, Cass McCombs, and Kurt Vile in no time.
Essential Tracks: ”Billy & I”, “Hurts So Bad”