Born in Lawrence, Mammoth Life can be identified as indie-rock, pop ‘n roll, dream-pop, or d) all of the above. Started by Kix Mead and Gibby Paul in 2005, the band spent five years in Lawrence before relocating to their current home of San Francisco, hence the title of their new five-song EP Baycation. After a fruitful stay in the Sunflower State and an opening performance for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at Jackpot in 2009, the duo sold their gear and went west after the other two members in the project left the band in the midst of a two-month tour in 2010. They assembled a new quartet upon their arrival with bassist Heidi Weber and drummer Dan Staublin. According to Paul, Baycation encapsulates the permanent vacation lifestyle to be had in California.
The EP begins with the track “Saturday In The City,” the quintessential soundtrack to a Bay Bridge afternoon car ride. This track is an edgier side of Mammoth Life coming to fruition as opposed to the previous trademark spacious, bedroom pop sounds found on Kaleidoscope Art Pop and their 2013 self-titled full length. One of the tracks on the EP that best showcases Mead’s vocal prowess is “Something In Between.” She sings “nothing comes easy and nothing’s for free / but you have the drive to see what it is / and what you can be.” A track surely in the same vein as the geographical evolution the band experienced but also a testament to the leaps of faith that must be taken to realize your dreams.
The title track, “Baycation,” is sweet, punchy and, inevitably, the single—the track that comes to mind when reminiscing over the beach-hallucination-filled listens of Baycation, founded upon a lifestyle of which many Midwesterners are unfamiliar. The brief Baycation EP is not of mammoth proportions but it won’t disappear after the first time you listen.
Recommended If You Like: Beach House, Dum Dum Girls, Mates of State
Recommended Tracks: 3 (Something In Between), 4 (Baycation), 1 (Saturday In The City)
Do Not Play: 2 (Lights Out)
Written by Harrison Hipp on 10/08/15