Phoebe Quest – The Windward Sound EP

Phoebe Quest
The Windward Sound EP

Phoebe Quest is the project of ex-Fairways drummer Zachary Stanley, who plays most of the instruments here and clearly shows he can front his own band. For the most part light, snappy pop, the songs on The Windward Sound are pristine, lighthearted, and slightly folky in form while possessing a pleasant 80s sensibility.
The style of pop may not be unique, but Stanley adds some very unique touches to his music. One moment a mandolin spices up the pleasant guitar, while horns come in to give a psychedelic flare to others. His voice, while not the strongest I’ve heard, suits the music nicely, and he doesn’t put it forward too much, allowing the music to be the key focus. The music is excellent, and Stanely especially shines on the sometimes jangly guitar work that gives these songs a more indie rock feel.
The opener, “Minutes and Seconds,” mixes in some nice horns to fill out the sound. Centered around a crisp guitar line and a jazzy beat, the song sets the stage nicely for pristine, upbeat pop. “Deadly Dotti” is ultra-cute, using hand-clap beats and head-bobbing keyboard for a retro-pop bounce. “The First Phase at High Noon” uses some odd echo effects to the vocals, which doesn’t really work well, and the song seems to have something of a trippy quality. But the effect works on the more up-tempo “Echelon Form,” which is a very light, jangly pop tune. “Crooked Rhythm” is a decidedly folky pop tune with little flares of synths and electric guitar to spice up that predominantly acoustic guitar and voice approach. “Jet Set on a Bike” closes things off with more emphasis on rhythm – mostly light and bouncy – and some jangly guitar and keyboard bits as well that’s really quite spiffy.
More pleasant pop from Shelflife, this is Phoebe Quest’s first release, and it’s extremely nice. Charming and sweet, these two-and-a-half-minute pop songs are quite enjoyable. Even if you won’t be humming them later, they’re fine summer mindless fare.