Jay Malinowski’s (lead singer of Bedouin Soundclash) solo single Santa Monica reminds me of the nineties’ radio gems by Third Eye Blind. And that is no slight. Third Eye Blind had a deft ear for excellently structured songs with melody and a great sense of build. Lead singer Stephan Jenkins had the ability to fully release his voice to emote strongly, and the deceivingly simple songs were actually expertly co-writing by Kevin Cadogan, a student of guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani. You only need to listen to songs like The Background to get an understanding of their depth and skill. However, there is always something about putting your melodies on your sleeve, allowing your music to come into view out of the indie murk, that allows it to be past off as throwaway pop. I, on the other hand, find it refreshing. Santa Monica starts off as just a beautiful mixture of strummed and picked guitar, and then Malinowski throws his voice out there like he never could with Bedouin Soundclash. It sounds raw, strained, and perfectly affecting. And by the time that chorus comes around, it becomes and earworm that will stick until you can hear the song again. I hope the musical directness sways indie rock out of the reverb fog.

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