Before I heard the EP by Baltimore band Raindeer, I read up on a little bit of information about the act. This EP is the first release, several years in the making, by Charlie Hughes. Immediately I thought “this is going to be a nice little release. Probably some lo-fi synth pop. And for the most part, that is true, except for the beginning. Lo-fi is completely out of the question. The production value on this shows that Hughes has been working for quite a while on this EP, as he has been.
It’s clear his influences are as eclectic as they come. Roy Orbinson, ’80s synth pop, and ’90s alternative come to mind at first, though I’m sure there’s plenty of others. These songs. Tracks like “Juanita” combine an almost Beach House-esque vocals, with a carnival-esque synth and drum work. Think of a more upbeat Future Islands. The personal highlight is the ultimate track “This is my Last Transmission.” Starting out with cute little harmonies saying the title, eventually distorted guitars and heavily oscillated synthesizers take over, combined with a pounding drum beat. It has the sounds that wouldn’t be entirely out of place in these “hip” car commercials that have been popping up. It’s the sort of act that I wouldn’t mind joining because frankly, the music is fun, despite the occasional melancholic lyrics.
Hughes is currently looking for a band to head out on tour with, and the EP is available to download for free at bandcamp.