Routines is Indiana-based lo-fi group Hoops’ full-length debut album, released by Fat Possum records this past month. For those into the sounds of early Part Time, Broncho, Bedroom and Twin Peaks, this is right up your alley. The eleven-track album is slicked with reverb, jangly guitars and feel-good melodies. It’s the perfect soundtrack to summers laden with poolside hangs and coastal escapades.
The album opens with “Sun’s Out,” a dreamy track that brings summer flings to mind with lyrics like, “Meet me in the sunlight / meet me when the moon’s ripe / I can never be the one you want,” with following track, “Rules,” continuing the theme at a quickened pace.
Songs like “On Top” and “On Letting Go” really stand out as catchy summertime psych-pop jams that can be listened to on repeat. “Well I think I’ll take it easy / take it one day at a time / and I’ll wait for you to find me / in my foolish paradise,” they sing encouragingly on the upbeat “On Top.” And in the breezy “On Letting Go,” the summer comes to an end as they sing, “You came out with us / still remember the clothes you wore/ and your summer gaze / it happens so much you know.” The sliding guitar solo at the end of this track is the selling point and is sure to have the listener swaying in a dreamy haze.
Closing tracks “Underwater Theme” and “Worry” take the pace down several notches, adding a more funk-inspired element to the dreamy psych-pop sounds. In closing track “Worry,” funk and R&B rhythms take a front seat, a sax solo making an appearance at the close of the album as he sings, “I left you in the dark…”
While a couple tracks like “Management” and “All My Life” blur together in the same washes of sound, the majority of the tracks on Routines are enjoyable easy listening with distinctive factors. Having graduated from recording in living rooms on tapes, Routines professional production still provides the listener with a lo-fi, intimate atmosphere that sounds like it’s recorded in the ’70s. The album is quite an enjoyable listen and recommends lo-fi for this summer’s soundtrack.