Fine Steps // All Day Long
Recommended Track: All Day Long
Everyone seems to have slept on Bay Area band Fine Steps’ lovely and atmospheric 2012 LP Boys Co., but if you did hear it and like it, you’ll probably enjoy All Day Long. Like its predecessor, the second outing from singer-songwriter Julian Elorduy is a shyly romantic record that sounds like The Orchids doused in a post-punk ice bath. All three tracks here are a natural continuation of the themes and moods found on Boys Co. with little deviation from what we’ve heard from Elorduy before.
Fine Steps’ greatest strength is creating songs that teeter between melancholy and hopefulness while never falling prey to the excesses of either, something that’s always an issue with this kind of art-damaged indie pop. The EP’s best attributes are encapsulated in the title track, a charmingly earnest song that’s almost childlike in its approach to worldly subject matter. As on Boys Co., Elorduy’s distinctive voice (a little less monotone here than before) can imbue even most well-worn platitudes with meaning. After lulling you into a pleasant daze with repetitive nursery rhyme lyrics and airy instrumentation, everything goes blurry when Elorduy hits you with a sucker punch of a chorus all wrapped in spaced-out jangle and bashful sentiment: “Beauty is ageless/ And you don’t have to be trying/all day long.” Word, Julian.
Note: Julian Elorduy is an occasional contributor to Lo-Pie.