The lovechild of California indie darlings Grandaddy and Earlimart, Admiral Radley doesn’t play any tricks. The debut album, I Heart California, has a simple formula: two parts Grandaddy, two parts Earlimart. The title track, a buoyant ode to—yup, you guessed it—California, seamlessly echoes Grandaddy to a tee. “Ghosts of Syllables” is quintessential Earlimart, with Aaron Espinoza’s hushed vocals driving the ethereal tune.
How two established pop acts spent their summer vacation On their website, Admiral Radley, the sunny, West Coast conglomerate featuring members of indie pop mainstays Earlimart and Grandaddy, claims the band’s name derives from a weathered sea captain they met at an art museum in L.A. The marine moniker is fitting, considering the resulting album, I Heart California, sounds like the songs were written after a long lost weekend of partying on the Cali coast. The song construction on Admiral Radley’s album evokes the best and worst of the California surfer stereotype: It’s usually funny, if not goofy, and totally laid-back; bro, but almost to a degree that hints at lazy songwriting.
The fact that Grandaddy members Jason Lytle and Aaron Burch have teamed with Earlimart’s Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray to make Admiral Radley isn’t terribly surprising. For one thing, the bands have known each other for years, and toured and collaborated together before. Then, of course, there’s the way the two bands compliment each other sonically, with Grandaddy’s hushed yet paranoid fuzz melding well with the gentle, lilting smoke of Earlimart’s sound.
Best Coast At first the sentiments seem to be pure pop in Bethany Cosentino’s songs on “Crazy for You” (Mexican Summer) by Best Coast. “I wish he was my boyfriend.” “You’re the one for me.” So are the structures: two- or three-minute songs with a big girl-group beat, a few chords ….