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J. Pastel – Senegal

Some tracks justify the rarely-used ‘repeat ∞’ button on your favorite music player. ‘Senegal‘, the super-sleek debut from Chicago bedroom-pop producers j. pastel is absolutely one of those tracks.

It’s hard to believe that this is the first single by a duo formed only last year; the lush production and immaculately-crafted dreamy vibes sound like the work of seasoned hitmakers. Indeed, the team of Chase Durrett and Casey Bruce only joined forces a summer ago, and this is only the first stage of their self-described “shared vision” for how they want to make music.

Senegal‘ is instantly illuminating. A simple-but-charming love song lyric floats atop instrumental that recalls the best of the last decade’s dream pop while remaining an entirely refreshing listen. Fans of Tame Impala will find as much to enjoy here as electropop connoisseurs, such is the expansiveness of the sound. It’s not hard to imagine that the golden rule here is “if it’s dreamy AF, it’s in”.

Everything about this song is brilliant – the eighties synth flourishes dance around innumerate layers of smooth indie magic; but what makes ‘Senegal’ special is how these elements are tied together. This tune really creates a vibe. Its hyper-chill feel is distinct but appealing enough that you could imagine it getting airplay anywhere from the major radio studio to the neon glow of the late-night bar.

More impressive still is the slickness of the production value behind this release. If this is the first outing for a true bedroom project, what joys could bigger and better studios bring? The answer can only be exciting, and the future looks seriously bright for j. pastel.

Simply put; this single is really, really lovely. With more to come from the duo on their upcoming EP (due early next year), ‘Senegal‘ is just waiting to be heard – in the coolest manner possible.