May 26, 2016

Tracks: Soda Shop - Wistful Past / Die Alone

Slow dance to Soda Shop's nostalgia-infused tunes.

The duo that makes up Soda Shop, Maria Usbeck and Drew Diver, may seem like newcomers to the Brooklyn music scene. But even if you haven't heard of them yet, the two have been peripherally involved in music for a number of years and have recently been backed by an all-star team with Velvet Blue Music as their label. Back in 2015, Usbeck and Diver released their self-titled debut album on Velvet Blue. Soda Shop is a subtle ode to sweet fifties and sixties melodies with an undercurrent of darkness running through the eight tracks. It's an album for slow dancing with your crush but doing it in a leather jacket and platform creepers. Soda Shop was a solid first release that cemented Diver and Usbeck as major players in their own musical project, instead of just contributing to others. The two hail from lands that differ greatly from NYC, as Usbeck is from Ecuador and Diver is from Ohio. A funny twist of fate and a mutually attended DJ set brought these two together in music-making harmony, with Diver casually inviting Usbeck to listen to his demos that eventually flourished into the nostalgic beauty that is Soda Shop.

The third single to be released from the Soda Shop was the show-stopping “Wistful Past,” which was initially well-received by critics and was produced by Ariel Pink’s Jorge Albrecht. The song is an appropriate development of of the band’s minimalistic approach to pop. They steer clear of temptation to over-complicate their sound with modern technology. Soda Shop is keeping it 100%, using only natural sound in their recordings. Diver told Vice's Noisey (where he works a day job in IT), in an interview, “I’ve always been a less-is-more kind of person, especially in today’s musical climate and the accessibility of all sorts of software, iPad and iPhone apps to make more and more layers of noise. Negating that and really working the arrangement makes it stand out even strong in my opinion.” Accompanying the release of “Wistful Past” is a previously unreleased bonus track “Die Alone,” which has a retro bass and guitar coupling that perfectly plays on the band’s obsession with throwback forms of music-making. Grab your crush's hand and listen to "Wistful Past" and "Die Alone" while plotting your badass escape from your hometown.


Listen to Soda Shop on Soundcloud.

Leann Bescript, a recent graduate of SUNY Purchase, full-time nanny and freelance journalist. Generally, she is regarded as the all-knowing 5-second-rule referee in the workplace, or anywhere else that anyone might've accidentally dropped food and needed moral support to eat it anyway.