Goldroom Goes ‘West of The West’ and Transcends the Retro Revolution
“Without you, I’m a silhouette.” This pronouncement on the opening track of Goldroom’s excellent West of the West should have made me roll my eyes. I’m jaded – it’s very hard for me to feel feelings. Despite this, the line made me crack a smile. The rest of the album had the same effect on me as well. There’s something about the kind of breezy, danceable music here that makes it impossible to be a killjoy.
Simply put, this album could easily have been titled ‘the importance of being earnest.’ There’s an honesty here, an easiness that’s lacking in most modern music. Goldroom peppers their production with simple hints of their musical influences rather than making them obnoxious. The quiet Caribbean drums and Balearic influences on “Teenage Waste” underscore the song rather than undercutting it. On “Lying To You,” huge stadium-concert synth hooks are strategically deployed, mostly bubbling under a masterfully tender vocal performance that’s sweet, but not cloyingly so.
These little tricks pervade the album. From the funky disco-banger “Underwater” to a surprising callback to Talking Heads on “Freeway Lights,” Goldroom’s influences are at once both deep and diverse, and somehow they manage to parlay those influences into a very solid, very fun album.