Don’t let the name fool you: the music of Oregon Bike Trails’ Zach Yudin is more at home communing with warm breezes and soaking in the SoCal sunshine on the beaches of his native Santa Monica than it is getting tucked away on some backwoods bike trail in the Pacific Northwest gathering moss. Even among the scores of bands riding the beach wave, Oregon Bike Trails manages to stand out, forgoing fuzzed-out guitar riffs and instead getting toes tapping with rumbling waves of percussion and bounding bass. Drawing inspiration from ’60s surf pop groups, he layers on twinkling toy pianos and tambourines and pulls it all together with some tight Brian Wilson-tinged melodies. And, of course, no beachside bedroom project would be complete without a touch of reverb. While hitting the ‘verb too hard is often a means of masking sub-par vocal chops, Yudin’s use is just right. Airy echos complement his light, sunny harmonies without compromising the listeners’ understanding of his candid but clever narratives of lost high school love and lost days in the sand. Watch the video for “High School Lover” and more after the jump!
– Catherine DeGennaro