Todd and Erin
Save It for the Remix
3.9 out of 5
By Sean Dennison
You might want to set up an appointment with your dentist after digesting this short but sweet EP of sugary electropop. And it’s not just the music that’s adorable, either. The alleged background for Todd and Erin’s debut EP Save It for the Remix is that Erin Nicole Smith left her phone number and a buck in Todd Dakin’s tip jar after one of his gigs. A week later, the duo found themselves playing at Hollywood’s House of Blues, which is kind of a big deal.
The Santa Barbara duo establishes themselves quite well on these five tracks, with the EP itself clocking in at just over 15 minutes. Smith takes the lead immediately on the opener “Lost CTRL.” She boasts one of the most unabashedly cute voices I’ve heard in recent memory, and for a moment the only word I could think of was “TWEE.” Dakin’s voice isn’t too much different, though a bit tougher and less saccharine. They compliment each other, which is vastly important in a musical duo. As for this particular track, it’s an appropriately energetic and anthemic opener, filled with jovial guitar riffs and fun male-female harmonies: “Hey what’s that sound / turn up the volume now / we are getting louder now.”
The music has a sweet sound, being pop through and through, but the band draws on some surprising influences. Consider the Journey-like guitar work on “Something Chemical” backed by classic synthesizers. “Don’t Walk Away” is constructed around grunge-like guitar riffs that revert back to the spacious synthetic pop sound popularized by 90s alternative rock. Now, not every experiment works, the biggest mistake being “Hate,” a bland, acoustic number predictable in every musical aspect.
“White Lies” is the most realized track, channeling some awesome Delgados overtones as Smith explores darker themes, and the sound of her own voice. She is much more raspy and serious-sounding. It’s still a pop song, but in the vein of Evanescence.
Now, what catches my attention is I can hear every one of these songs on the radio. Even “Hate” could be the next melancholy girl and guitar number. For a debut, Save It for the Remix is impressive for its pop sensibilities, and as its title implores, we may very well see more of Todd and Erin in the future.
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