PLAYING DETROIT: Dear Tracks “All The Outs Are Free”

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Think John Hughs meets Beach House topped with whipped cream, a cherry, and that mix tape your imaginary boyfriend would have made you in the early 90’s. This is the essence of “All The Outs Are Free,” the new single from Grand Rapids-based dream pop four piece, Dear Tracks. I first met Dear Tracks at an intimate outdoor shoe gaze/indie pop festival I MC’d this past summer. Though their stage presence was quiet and unassuming, their bubbling, contemplative, synth pop vibes filled the open space while I sprawled my bare legs out into the grass, taking note of the toggle of control between the setting sun and the rising moon. I remember being transported, though carefully, to what felt like a video game bonus level, but in real life and real time. Comprised of Matt Messore, Victoria Ovenden, Jacob Juodawlkis and Alex Militello, Dear Tracks are not a force as much as they are a caress (and perhaps even a productive cry behind a steering wheel).

The single from their forthcoming EP Soft Dreams (due out on vinyl and cassette February 26th, 2016) borderline exhausts lyrical platitudes by smashing a series of ambiguous, flighty phrases together: “Don’t drift away/stay if you can/come as you are/I’ll let you in.” This doesn’t come as an insult, though, quite the contrary. “All The Outs Are Free” is a hazy, minimalistic petit four. Paired with swaying synth sounds, their elementary expression of love, loss, and longing is cocooned tightly and effectively. There are no smoke and mirrors, nor any unnecessary details neither lyrically or in regards to composition; there’s no mess to sort through. With this single, Dear Tracks found a way to surprise me in not sounding like they were trying to surprise me. Floating in a sea of seasonal over-orchestrated, heavy handed production, this taste of candied candor is fresh and restorative.

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