Fuzzy distortion and the warmth of the West Coast come together to make Exray’s self-titled debut seem familiar, while still pushing boundaries. Guitars and synths make a hypnotic backdrop that borders on sunny without being cliché or too upbeat. Instead, it’s a rich, layered landscape that anyone with indie sensibilities can admire. All of the tricks just make the music smoother and more rhythmic, rather than seeming jarring or distracting. The end result is an album that floats in and out like the tide, sweeping along like the motion of the sun.
Exray’s are poised to burst onto the scene and make a major impact. After all, an instrumental version of the track “Hesitation” appeared in The Social Network. With a jumping off point like that, it’s only a matter of time before they move from the Bay Area to SXSW, then take on the rest of the country. If you’re looking for a place to start, “Stolen Postcard Sun” is a gentle, acoustic gem, whereas “Remember Nothing” features beats that are borrowed from more dance influences. Overall, Exray’s is a feast of low-tempo, smooth songs that will appeal to fans of LCD Soundsystem as well as Fever Ray.