The Whendays The Whendays EP

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Stockholm-based duo The Whendays, comprised of Swedish-born Simon Reithner and San Francisco expat Serge G., is less than a year old, and yet the outfit boasts a precisely defined style. Their remix of "Light of Love" by The Miracles Club from this year may be more propulsive and dark in comparison to the pair's self-titled debut EP for the burgeoning Cascine label, but it still encapsulates the hyper-compressed aesthetic, nostalgic essence, and miasmatic funk featured on those four tracks. That said, The Whendays EP, while surprisingly original and interesting despite its genre and era signifiers, is split evenly between hits and misses.

The best tracks of The Whendays' debut are found at the beginning and end of the EP. Both "Untru Love II" and "Pckt" offer vocal hooks that are satisfying enough while sounding completely offhanded and conversational, an effect that is one of the duo's strongest components. In addition, the meaty basslines and overblown drum beats create simple, smooth grooves over which the lackadaisical vocals and distant synth melodies can float. It's a mixture that immediately reminds you of any number of '80s R&B slow jams, but if they were captured off the radio, ran through an echo chamber, and dipped in honey. The Whendays EP only starts to fail when those same ideas are repeated again and again, with less interesting results.

"If I Wait" is the first offender, inasmuch that the laziness and unfocused energy of The Whendays' sound overtakes the song to a point where you wonder if Serge and Simon bothered to plan out their vocal melodies at all before recording them. The third cut on the record, "Namnlos," suffers both from that affliction and a lack of real structure; the song is basically a single dreamy groove that changes trajectory for all of 30 seconds, which wouldn't be so bad if that groove didn't sound so much like the other three tracks. It's no question that The Whendays EP would've been much stronger as a two-song single, as the first and last tracks display a duo that is on to something fresh in the world of reappropriated R&B-isms.