This band is so great, and radio already knows it. PHOTO OPS play dreamy, gauzy, Americana-inflected indie pop from Nashville, along the lines of Real Estate or Local Natives or my (2012) Band Mom band Good Field. This record comes via Bad Friend Records, which is run by my good buddies from another beloved Band Mom band, Tereu Tereu. Check out this awesome Paste premiere of “Memories that Glow” (track 5)! That’s a really good one but by far not the only relevant single on this album—honestly this record was a hard one to pin down start-with tracks for (which is why I listed five of them on the sticker!); every track is single-quality and radio-ready! Like “Maybe We’ll Change” and “I’d Be Dead” (tracks 6 and 3), which have each ALREADY racked up over 100,000 plays on Spotify!!! Whaaaat. Get on board with this band now so you can pull the I-knew-them-when brag later.
Bad Friend Records
Following the victory and tragedy of 2013’s How To Say Goodbye, Photo Ops returns with their sophomore offering, Vacation, out 2/5 via Bad Friend Records. Masterminded by Nashville’s Terry Price, the dream pop project brings life to the deepest questions and concerns with infectious melodies and lush, often-unexpected textures. At once remarkably accessible and deeply poignant, Price effortlessly weaves hooks and harmonies that force the listener to both sing and think along.
The past half-decade or so has forced Price face-to-face with some of the darkest issues imaginable. His father was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, cursed by the symptoms of manic depression and schizophrenia throughout his life. He died in 2011 of a heart attack at age 55. Meanwhile, Price himself woke one morning with one side of his face completely paralyzed and was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy. He eventually recovered movement and his prognosis is positive. Still, the overall trauma combined to inform and inspire his debut work, asking universal questions we all desire the answers to, woven with driving, mesmerizing melodies.
As he returns on Vacation, Price creates soundscapes he hopes to be just that: a departure from daily life and chaos, shimmering with details immediate rather than obscure. Pondering how much thought to dedicate to the past, present and future, he paints mountain and ocean views in a dream pop via alt-country palette. “I’d Be Dead” features classical acoustic guitar and a mesmerizing melody, while “Memories That Glow” holds a bouncing piano hook begging to break free from the past. Meanwhile, “You And Me Driving Cross Country” captures perfectly a moment in time, with Price using his voice as in instrument, layering and harmonizing it with sighing strings.
A Nashville native for the past 15 years, Price was formerly a member of Oblio, who toured extensively for years. As he continues to come into his own with Photo Ops, he has shifted, with a production assist by Patrick Damphier (Mynabirds), from the creation of a live experience to the composition of a pristine and honest record, with songs that both get stuck in your head and bring you to face some of life’s toughest questions. Vacation is a human album that communicates pain but feels like understanding.
RIYL: Real Estate, Local Natives, Beach House, Girls, Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, The Walkmen, Vampire Weekend, Surfer Blood, Good Field
Start With: 6, 3, 5, 4, 2 FCC CLEAN
Contact me for a download link if you’re a radio rep!