For a while now, we’ve been fans for the jangled pop touches of L.A. post-punk four piece Dear Boy. They’ve always had their own stamp on what the genre is, while giving us some of the more kind and catchy songs that have shared the post-punk world. On their latest release The Strawberry EP, they expand their sound while holding their core, giving listeners more to grab hold of.
The opener, “Semester” immediately has that classic neo-wave meets post-punk sound. Catchy but not sugary, the song still sounds like the band, but also gives listeners a new take on how they sound. The sweet touched vocals are airy but not light, and the hooks are pretty hard to ignore. That continues on “Limelight,” bringing more engaging pop with notations of post-punk. The biggest difference here is how the vocals and the guitars are arranged, with the vocals at the front and the instrumentation a hair or two lower creating a sound that hits harder than if it were done any differently.
The shoegaze drippings on “Anything At All” is only overshadowed by the pop traces and upbeat structuring. Dear Boy is really just embracing everything that makes up their sound here, and it works while pulling you in for more encapsulating pitches. However, with all of that, the standout track is “Love Interest.” While the song has more pop than post-punk, it feels like where the band is most comfortable, offering multiple hooks and melodic tones. The song has the feel of new wave or new romanticism, but it never feels like a lift but rather, a new interpretation of it. The way the songs play off of one another while the band seems to play with ease, The Strawberry EP is a catchy release that you might not want to take off of repeat.
You can stream the E.P. on all streaming sites, you can purchase it in all digital shops including on Bandcamp, or you can get it on vinyl directly from the band’s web store. Dear Boy will be at SXSW at the Tiniest Bar in Texas for Best Lil Big Fest on March 15.
Image Credits: Photo by Casey Curry.