Audio Mixer: Andrew Maury.
Recording information: Le Boosh Records Bungalow, Rockaway Park, NY; The End Studios, Brooklyn, NY.
Photographer: Daniel Topete.
Lewis Del Mar is the self-titled debut of childhood friends and D.C.-to-N.Y.C. transplants Danny Miller and Max Harwood, who named their duo after their fathers (both named Lewis) and their adopted coastal locale of Rockaway Beach. The album includes the viral hit "Loud(y)," a song that typifies the project's melodic, percussion-driven approach, which incorporates samples and offbeat manipulated sound. Also capturing a snapshot of their sound is opener "Such Small Scenes," which features reverberating clatter and distorted bass in contrast to slick vocal and guitar tracks. Those timbres, along with a Latin percussion presence, dominate the album but expand occasionally, such as on the darker "Malt Liquor," with its alarm-like electronics, and "Tap Water Drinking," a sauntering rap. It's one of a couple entries with a stronger R&B slant. The song's glitchy production includes abrupt starts and stops and a memorably warped coda. The ballad "Islands" arrives late in the track list and softens the otherwise angular atmosphere with sustained tones including piano, muddier attacks on percussion, and a melody with elongated phrasing. Spoken-word samples also make notable appearances from time to time across the set, including on "Loud(y)," which seems to take on Internet trolls ("You love to feel offended/Fighting from computer trenches/You got a semi-automatic mouth"). Throughout, Lewis Del Mar have a knack for controlled hooks and anthems, but their greatest strength is in the artful balance of their contributors: drummer/producer Harwood brings as much to the sound as singer/guitarist Miller, and every note and timbre is valued in their pop sculptures. ~ Marcy Donelson