Located in the New York borough of Queens, Rockaway Beach is home to the musical duo of Danny Miller and Max Harwood, who together go by the name Lewis Del Mar. The pair’s musical endeavours have been collected under the heading of folk-pop with Miller providing vocals and playing guitar, while Harwood is the outfit’s drummer and works on production. To be sure, folk and pop music have clearly influenced Lewis Del Mar’s sound, but folk-pop really doesn’t seem to be an accurate description of their music, with folktronica or electro-folk feeling like a more fitting appellation – if not simply electro-pop.
Hype has been building around Lewis Del Mar since they débuted in 2015 with the single, Loud(y), and the release of their first EP this January continued to stoke the flames of interest in the act. From the ten songs collected here on the self-titled Lewis Del Mar – all demonstrating an ear fine-tuned for a catchy groove and a good hook – it is easy to imagine Lewis Del Mar being crowd favourites on the festival scene, or providing the soundtrack to laid-back barbeques. Lewis Del Mar proves to be a fun and easy – though not especially engaging – listen, with repeat play after repeat play being racked-up without anything outstanding or offensive to enthrall the listener.
Such Small Scenes feints at an industrial sound for its intro and outro, while the middle is rhythmic samples set against simple – but effective – acoustic guitar riffs, and Miller’s blasé style of vocal delivery. With its direct riffs and solid electro backing, it is readily apparent why Loud(y) attracted so much attention for the pair, although the tracks 4 minutes do start to drag out by the end. Painting (Masterpieces) will certainly achieve high-rotation on radio playlists around the globe, but it seems unlikely that it is a track that will attain any true longevity. And that is the underlying issue with Lewis Del Mar as a whole; it is such a summer romance of an album, easy to love intensely for a short period of time, but not a long-term prospect. Miller and Harwood ably demonstrate their chops with this début album, now they just need to build their distinctive sound into something more substantial.