Collaborative albums always seem like a better idea in theory rather than execution. For every handful that or memorable, there are dozens that are easily as just forgettable. Happy to say that Doomin’ Sun, the debut effort by Bachelor, consisting of Jay Som’s Melina Duterte and Palehound’s Ellen Kempner is a breezy, entertaining listen that goes so quick that you’ll understand its endless playability.
“Back of My Hand” begins the record, a vamp where Duterte and Kempner sing about what sounds like admiration of star from afar: “I'm your biggest fan/Got your song in my head/And your poster's above my bed/You watch me sleepin’/Got a seat for your show/Couldn't swing the front row/Could you hear me from the nosebleeds screaming every word?” The song sets the perfect tone - light but rewarding deep listers.
One of the album’s most exciting moments comes with “Stay in the Car”, a song built on choice guitar squalls and delay that sound like the artists are singing in the middle of a thunderstorm - the calm comes strummed acoustic verses before hurtling back in the chaos.
“Spin Out” is a slice of dream pop built on hazy loops and what sounds like a slowed down merry-go-round. It’s blissed out and easy, sounding like it could have been left off Jay Som’s 2017 debut, Everybody Works.
What makes Doomin’ Sun such a fun record is the level of experimentation without fuss. Take “Anything at All” for example - it’s a song with an irresistible groove, dual vocals and riffs that crawl and guitars that skronk. It shouldn’t make any sense why it works, but it’s sounds like two artists having fun making sounds together. Immediately after follows the tender sounding “Moon” which follows into “Sick of Spiraling”, a sunny sounding piece of psych.
Bachelor’s Doomin’ Sun is exactly what you’d hope from two established artists with formidable established careers. It’s songs that feel carefully constructed but not forced, each artist rising to the surface with their talents as the songs call for it. It’s nice to be able to lose yourself in the sound for a little while. Bachelor have made a record worth coming back to time and time again. Hopefully there is more to come when they’re ready - soon, but not soon - just long enough to get it right, just like they’ve done here.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media