EP: Do You - Pony
It can seem difficult to look at our darkest circumstances with a smile, which is why it's important and powerful that Pony takes the scariest and most downer of feelings and turns them into bright garage pop gems. There's an undeniable power when others open up and share their struggles and on Do You, Pony approaches the listeners with complete sincerity. Their previously released EP Crushed was all summer and sunshine, showcasing the rainbow-hued world that accompanies crushing, but Do You shines that colorful spirit into the darkest corners, providing just a beam of light for those of in the thick of it.
Opener, "I Don't Know" is Blink 182 meets Best Coast, a gunning punk soundtrack that rips through vocalist Sam Bielanski's desire to stop feeling sad, and the eternal unknown that seems to plague her. "Healthy Brain" drips with that same 90s punk nostalgia, but this time it's more emotional and raw, as Bielanski shares a wish to have a healthy brain and ditch the dark cloud that's seemingly looming overhead. Beachy, breezy strings tinged in fuzz are met with persistent percussion, leading listeners on a bounce along journey through the darkness - "I don't wanna look in the mirror/I don't wanna look at me/The reflection is what I fear," Bielanski cries. It's a relatable, catchy hook that steals your heart, and keeps you listening right into the subdued and memorable "Monster" that highlights confessions of remaining quiet just to avoid another fight and fearing it'll all fall to pieces. "Fingernails" is a shimmying surf rock ode to the hardest habit to quit, complete with returned vocals that are about the most darling thing you'll hear, and closer "Small Things" packages it all up, a defiant message of strength inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer that provides a final burst of fun, brimming in fuzz.
Do You glimmers in a way that harks back to all the best 90s teen dramas. It's the EP you know Marissa Cooper of The O.C. would have listened to during her poolside screaming session or that Rachel Leigh Cook aka Laney Boggs would have playing in her studio. Despite its vintage appeal there's a modern day message of hope with confessions of feeling at your worst, but still making it through, and that encouragement is so needed right now. When the days are gloomy and you can't imagine leaving bed or when you need the sweetest, quickest reminder that you're not alone, this is the soundtrack to reach for.