Review: On Repeat Experiment With Synth And Space Sounds On New Single "Pontoon"

By: Julia Talen

It’s been a couple of years since Blake Britton and Jake Lamos, the artistic duo behind the music group On Repeat, have announced new music aside from their single, “Minus,” released in early 2016. In October 2015, On Repeat issued their debut EP, The Mighty Unkind, and followed up their EP release with shows throughout the Denver area at venues like Larimer Lounge and the Seventh Circle Music Collective. Since February they have not played a live show and have been working away on their latest EP comprised of fresh songs including their recent release, “Pontoon.”

 The artwork for On Repeat.

The artwork for On Repeat.

The track, “Pontoon,” shifts away from the grunge-y alternative overtones of their first EP, honing in on mixing and layering harmonies, instrumentals, and vocals interspersed with explorative electronic sounds. The intro of “Pontoon” draws you in slow, as the twangy guitar and subtle, easy bass treks along on an even melody. Soft symbols and steady drumbeats accompany the dynamic notes of a keyboard. The notes sound like the high keys on an electrified organ and begin to elevate the seemingly folksy tune, alluding to the forthcoming experimentation that On Repeat weaves into this track.

Listen to On Repeat's "Pontoon":

A Local Natives and Modest Mouse vibe consistently cradles the first half of the song as Jack and Blake’s vocals meld together swimmingly singing lyrics with the lines, “raised on a pontoon I was used to loneliness/tempted by the signs that I’d finally make it.” The poetic lyrics are vague, yet leave room for creating your own impressions as the song lulls back into a calm composition after the first refrain, thus mirroring the intro.

The single begins to build wondrously with the second refrain. On Repeat fuses together distinctive elements as they subtly thread in underlying vocals crooning, “only want it, ‘til you’ve got it/now you want it, you don’t got it” with experimental sounds like space noises and synthy intentional bits of feedback. The track finishes off with the low-key melody rescinding while blurred and blended sounds erupt and wrap up the song, leaving the listener almost on a cliffhanger, wanting more. I suppose we have more to look forward to when On Repeat releases their latest EP and perform this song and others live with The Ephinjis and Meeting House, Friday, September 29th, in Englewood at Moe’s Original BBQ!

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.