Iterations is the debut album from Captions, a four-piece based in Ventura, California. Their sun-kissed location shines through loud and clearly in the mood of the nine tracks on the record, a perfect chilled out and laid back record.
The album's lead single Bearfights opens up proceedings and sets down their marker. The songs on Iterations have a lot of space in them, the production feels deliberately light touch yet still crisp and without losing the freshness that characterises the whole album which allows the simple beauty of the songs to shine through. Reminiscent in some ways of Death Cab For Cutie in their (in our opinion most superior) phase around The Photo Album or, more recently and closer to home, Horsebeach in their approach, the song is drenched in vocal harmonies and airy guitars that feel almost effortless in their execution, but which envelop the listener in a feel good blanket.
It's a theme that runs through the album without it ever coming across as repetitive. Lead singer John's vocals have a dreamy effect on them on songs like Two Step where he reflects "I must be out of my mind" and Recording Silence which picks over the bones of a relationship that never quite happened "go out until three, it doesn't mean a shit to me." Loops grabs you immediately with a pulsating signature line and some neat hand claps at the start and doesn't let you go as John muses "When you're coming down, I don't know, I feel under water." It's an album that throughout deals with feelings and responses to situations rather than specifics themselves which allows the listener an in to the themes of the songs throughout.
Like all great records, it's hard to pick a favourite track, but if pushed we'd probably plump for Loops although the final track Midnight In Amsterdam Pt 1 and 2 runs it close, whilst Eyes hints at something more expansive in their future.
Iterations is one of the best debut albums of the year; one of those brilliant random finds that the internet sometimes throws your way so you can discover a great band the other side of the world by happy accident and then not be able to stop listening to it for days.
Captions are on Facebook and Twitter.
Iterations can be purchased via their Bandcamp page.