Del Paxton - September, Bedtime, Ontario [EP]
Driven by hearty hooks and bold riffs, the Buffalo trio Del Paxton make heartfelt punchy emo reminiscent of the melodic sensibilities of the mid-90’s. Their latest are a set of singles teeming with the exuberance and excitement of being young, alive, and earnest. Lead single “September,” an ode to camping in the Adirondacks, evokes vintage emo and punk nostalgia, yet lyrically is an anti-nostalgic balm for living in the moment. Its reflections on and reverence for long-term friendships shine through call-and-response vocals that echo euphorically over dexterous rhythms and crunchy start-stop melodies. With their overdriven choruses of diaristic contemplation, Del Paxton’s thoughtful ruminations stir up the passions of prolonged youth and the challenges of holding onto friends you could never let go.
The trio’s second single, “Bedtime,” is a rollicking lullaby whose rhythms interweave through scattered downbeats to create compositional space for the song’s meditations on youthfulness and friendship. Glistening guitars and rattling percussion eventually clear the way for a chanted coda that reflects the triumph of driving into the sunrise.
Last of the bunch is “Ontario,” a song of compositional and thematic dichotomies that pays tribute to Del Paxton’s favorite themes of innocence and camaraderie through images of companionship and nighttime canoeing. Quick, agile passages snap in and out of focus while Del Paxton examine extremes of stasis and catharsis, solace and trauma, the past and present. Listeners may find themselves lost in the unpredictable twists and turns of the trio’s precise musicianship, but never at the expense of punk-adjacent excitement and sincerity.