Formerly known as Kip McGrath, Auckland four-piece Polyester ’s self-titled debut album is an upbeat, light-hearted affair that anyone can groove to. With synth-fuelled, jangle-pop melodies and lovely vocal harmonies, it’s a delightfully cohesive journey through head-spinning, breathless young love and infatuation.
The album opens with dreamy echoing vocals (Amelia Berry and Sylvia Dew) that set the tone for the rest of the album. Layered with synth and chimes, Magic really is. Changing pace, Strange Emotion has a funk-heavy bass line and rich, darkly-toned vocals that paint an image of hot nights and summer love. The languid lyrics “… Let’s pretend that this will never end… I’ll take a chance with my heart,” evoke the universal feelings shared by every fleeting seasonal romance.
Pink includes a wee treat of a false start, an expletive uttered as they regroup, providing that elusive glimpse into the creative process that fans crave. Combining upbeat, carefree, fun pop with lyrics, this track is the epitome of the album’s success in being as sweet as the strawberry ice cream they sing about, without being sickly. Things end on a bittersweet note with Different For A Boy (released as a single back in 2017), addressing regrets, first kisses, and gender normativity in a moody ballad.
Kudos are due for how well put together the album is, considering the band recorded and mixed the whole thing themselves (it’s not too polished, but in a good way). Much like any good relationship, ‘Polyester’ strikes a golden balance between being both caught up in dizzying emotion and being self-reflective enough to stop short of naivete.