Today’s lifestyle is hectic. Efficiency and speed are often presented as the keys to success, and therefore happiness. Fortunately, some artists still have that youthful curiosity, enjoying the natural wonder that comes alongside the scenic route of life. Travis Brezter wholeheartedly embraces this philosophy of soaking it all up and reveling in the moment. On his Making Love EP, Bretzer proves himself worthy as a member of Mexican Summer’s roster, delivering pop-glazed guitar melodies that carry listeners through his slacker narratives.
Opening with “Billy And I,” a carry-over from Bretzer’s double A-side “Hurts So Bad” single, the low jangly guitar melody sets the ambience for the remaining tracks on the EP. The twang of the guitar brings a sense of relaxation, evoking the pleasant drift of a sleepy summer afternoon. Bretzer knows how to draw you in: the echoing vocal effects, the joyful Big Star-like melodies, the thumping but innocuous drums, the drawling yet heavy lyrics (“Sweet summer air coming through my window”).
Although the laid-back guitar riffs and tongue-in-cheek vocal intonations can be a hindrance in taking Bretzer’s music seriously, the songwriter’s lyrical content often complements his youthful demeanor and carries a heartfelt message. Rather than following in the shadow of fellow Canadian art-pop prankster Mac DeMarco and his non-sequitur lyrics, Bretzer isn’t afraid to present a diary-like chronicle of his imminent fears, anxieties and dreams. “Hurts So Bad,” as the name suggests, describes the pain of heartbreak, while the almost Malkmus-esque “Trying To Learn” is about the slow-crawling dread of growing up. In his whining drone, he explains “This is my youth, I feel so elderly/It’s kinda funny, but it makes me sad/To lead my life like my mom and dad.”
Unfortunately, those slacker tendencies influence Bretzer’s music a little too much. With all of the five tracks on the EP running under three minutes, the record seems to be more of a teaser of ideas Brezter has been toying with rather than a completed work. Nonetheless, each of the tracks hooks the listener with their cheeky yet catchy feel, leading to a yearning for more than offered. And isn’t yearning what youth is all about anyway?