Have you always wondered what band those catchy songs come from during the transition to commercial breaks on shows like Pretty Little Liars or Teen Mom? If you haven’t whipped out your Shazam app, it’s most likely from LA indie-pop group Act As If and their debut album, Steady. There’s always that poignant track during a big revelation that a character has – not necessarily a “dun dun dun” moment, but a calming effect like one looking into a sunset closing a story line. This is the basis of Steady – it’s a new horizons type record. It’s the album you can play hanging out at the beach and relaxing as the LA sound entails. Most of the musical and lyrical themes have to deal with being one entity in a big world and finding someone or something to connect with. Half of the album was written in 2012 and the other half done in 2014, so there is a sense in these songs where there is a lost and found of who the person is.
The vocals from founding member, Peter Verdell are well-balanced with singer Sara Lindsay, which is a main strength of AAI. Songs like the upbeat “Uh Huh” and the dreamy “Easier” are a good showcase of the chemistry between the two. Verdell usually takes the lead vocals, but during the choruses, Lindsay comes in to create a beautiful harmony, singing the higher parts. The title track and closer of the album, “It’s That Simple” are like the beginning and a continuation of a book. “Steady” is indicative of its title, dressed with harmonies and a slight guitar part. The lyrics would indicate someone perhaps being separated from the one they love by them moving away, but always letting them know that they will be there (“I will always want you/even when I’m all alone/your aching in my bones/you will always have me/even when you think you don’t”).
“It’s That Simple” seems like a lot of time has passed with this journey, and there is a divide between that love (“Say that you love me back/say it till your lungs hurt”). The consistency that I love within this album is that there is a natural flow. There’s all aspects of emotion professed, which is why I think the two years writing it was a strength. “L.A. Kid”, which one of the most upbeat songs on the album, features a more predominant bass line and percussion line. “Uh Huh” is the catchiest song that I can see featured in many ABC and MTV shows (if it hasn’t already). It reminds me of an updated Beach Boys interpretation.
There are some albums that you just want to get lost in and reminisce about particular things. Steady has the makings to not only make you want to leave everything behind and explore, but also remember the things you love with that discovery. It makes for an easy, consistent listen that you are going to want to play from front to back.