Jacob Loeb and Ben Schwab formed Golden Daze (originally Golden Days) in 2013. Originally conceived with an acoustic styling, their self-titled debut emerged as something more lo-fi, characterized by washes of electric guitar and drones. Following US-tours alongside artists like Woods, Whitney and Twin Peaks, small glimmers of Simpatico began to emerge. With resonances of their earliest acoustic textures, the growing momentum of the second record asserted a new reality–the brotherhood at the heart of Golden Daze’s very existence was no longer just the conduit for the music but also the subject of its appeal.
Simpatico was recorded in Big Bear, California, when the duo was already well into the slow unraveling of the friendship at the heart of their artistic collaboration. “Took A Fall” delivers its grief with a kind of reluctant, upbeat syncopation while “Lynyrd Bassman” places the individual experience of loss within a larger context of new adulthood, that surreal, subtle high of becoming more and more oneself. Over musical backdrops ranging from dreamy folk to 70s-inspired balladry, Loeb and Schwab populate their finely-crafted pop songs with bold admissions of love, shame, doubt and gratitude.
At the heart of the record’s sonic identity is a conversation between friends, between artistic collaborators, and yet also between artist and audience. Simpatico speaks to something deeply personal but it does so with the insistence that we, the listener, are a kind of witness. From its first tentative offer to “stick around”, Simpatico is a journey of discovery, of forgiveness, of surrender, one that culminates in the quiet, self-assured farewell of its final track: I’ll still be around my friend.
Took A Fall
Where You Wanna Be