EP Review: Quarantine Beach – The Dreampath of Desire
Quarantine Beach is an Anglo-Dutch-Greek-German band based in Rotterdam. Their music takes its roots in 80s New Wave and Indie Rock, while the lyrics written by novelist and short story writer Anthony Banks (vocals, guitar) are pure poetry. The group's first EP, "The Dreampath of Desire", fully showcases the band's unique musical style and innovative lyricism.

The EP's eponymous first song opens with jangly guitars in the vein of The Smiths and early R.E.M. The rest of the composition's structure relies on dreamy guitar chords, gentle textural synth touches and rich vocal harmonies that bring to mind Beach Boys and Simon & Garfunkel.

The lyrics are somewhat abstract yet totally relatable.They open with a quote from Psalm 1, Verse 1: "Only the righteous can avoid destruction at
The hands of wicked men". The smooth and deceivingly starry-eyed vocal delivery, as well as the dreamy and relaxed production don't prepare us for the bitter yet liberating revelation that comes after the first verse:
I've been told a thousand times
Bread is flesh and blood is wine
But I can't take it any more

I've been walking on the dream path of desire
Which you dismiss as fantasy
I've been walking on the dream path of desire
Seems real enough to me
Real enough to me

The muted guitars and sense of sonic space in "You Would Have Hated This Song" reminded us of The Police. In contrast to the lively music, the vocal character is gentle and vulnerable. The lyrics are relentlessly open-hearted and full of pop culture reference, again bringing to mind The Smiths. The band invokes associations like this not only by its sound, music and vibe of the lyrics. The musical artists referenced in the song's poetry (Marvin Gaye, Pere Ubu, ESG and The Cure) also add colours to the palette of associations created by Quarantine Beach, making the track even more rich and layered.

"As If I Didn't Know" takes the vulnerability up a notch. The song's transparent electric piano and warm pads make the vocals sound even more bare and open than on previous songs. The vocals are the big planet in the track's sonic space, and other instruments are the smaller planets in its orbits. The melodies here are extremely catchy, and the arpeggiated guitars are the element that helps bring their power to the extreme.

The EP closes with "I'm Gonna Do Just What You Want Me To", an uptempo and similarly catchy number. Again, the guitar arps help carry the memorable vocal melodies forward. The song's harmonic and arrangement shifts play along with the song's lyrics. The narrator, "just a cheater, who's going to take the blame", can't figure out which path to take, and the music follows his indecisive mind.

This makes the song a perfect closer for "The Dreampath of Desire", a complex EP, full of associations, culture references, sonic layers, catchy parts and intricate arrangement details.
Also check out the band's previous singles.