Micah Manaitai – “Vacationer”

vacationer music

“Vacationer” is a bouncin’ psych-rocker that recalls “the warmth and homeliness of recordings of the 1970s Pacific Cultural Renaissance”, complete with occasional surf-pop vocal harmonies, Tame Impala-like warbly synth interludes and percussive approach, and a Smile-esque instrumental trip that comprises a good chunk of the song’s second half. It comes from Micah Manaitai, a 20-year-old multi-instrumentalist from Guam and currently based in Los Angeles, which seems like the right location – but enjoyably 30-40 years behind in stylistic relevance. This sort of hypnotically infectious goodness is always relevant, though – so no time machine needed.

Via his press release:

Micah Manaitai is a 20 year old multi-instrumentalist and producer born in Guam and currently based in Los Angeles. Modern Sounds is his second release written, recorded and mixed between 2013 and 2015. Reclaiming the millennial softboy aesthetics of cuffed Aloha shirts in the name of island heritage, Manaitai synthesizes the warmth and homeliness of recordings of the 1970s Pacific Cultural Renaissance with the attitude and experimentation of today’s popular musicians. He is as enamored with the wholesome vocal blend of the Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau as he is with Tame Impala’s lo-fi psychedelia and fellow Guamanian Pia Mia’s infectious pop hooks. This infatuation plays out in code-switching genres within and between songs on the record; at one moment a jazz ballad, the next, surf punk chaos, Modern Sounds is a dense amalgam of multicultural thought, snark, and vulnerability.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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