Rolando Simmons – Summer Diary One EP

3 out of 5

Label: Analogical Force

Produced by: Mattias Östling

There’s a certain type of Summer experience that’s been oft idealized in movies: a teen, or young adult; the openness of a break from school, a day off of work; the morning is lazy, but brims with promise, maybe as you sit outside and take in some type of non-city landscape; and the afternoon stretches before you with wanderings and contemplations. That gives way to an evening of friendships, maybe a get-together where you lock eyes with that special someone; maybe that waited-for kiss.

Pretty nice.

Rolando Simmons captures that all rather effectively on Summer Diary One, sticking to my narrative fairly well: opener Haze On the Lake is that laid-back chill as sleep bleariness is cleared; Thirsty Garden and Cycle have a dash of funky wiggle as we wander about town; with Open Doors adding a bit of intrigue as the sun sets; and Secret Beach the reward at day’s end – insects chattering away harmlessly in the background as we find ourselves in, perhaps, the titular locale, maybe alone with our thoughts, maybe holding hands.

All very nice. All very… chill.

I’m sure these Summers have existed for someone, and I’ve maybe had bits and pieces happen here and there, but on the whole, I’m not an outdoors type, and that harmless chattering just equates to bug bites, while I’m realizing that my deoderant is failing me.

Rolando’s work here isn’t especially dense, but it’s controlled throughout, and finds a good balance between ambience and beats so that it’s notable, but not intrusive. As I’m perhaps making it sound, though, it is all rather of the same type of stuff, not stepping outside of that “pleasant” palette, but it’s good aural company, reminding me of something like the opening track on Astrobotnia’s Part 01 – a kind of restless, nostalgic pitter-patter IDM, yearning, but not yearning too hard, y’know?