Review: Blankets For Laura – “Orange” EP

Thank you, Shay Park.

While much of the Pittsburgh underground is awaiting the debut EP from Soda Club, the local dream-pop quartet Park fronts with saxophonist Jarrett Krause, Park quietly released on Bandcamp a four-song gem of an EP from her now-defunct solo project Blankets For Laura. And it’s a reminder of why we fell in love with Park, her poppy ukelele, and that angelic voice in the first place.

On “I Know This Is The Last Time I Will Walk To Your House,” Park waxes poetic on the mechanics of broken love of 20-nothing varieties, but she does it with a beautiful lyricism that tilts toward details, rather than the conventional he-said, she-said. In Park’s able hands, the weather is as much a metaphor for a relationship off the tracks as the more noteworthy details of who spent the night. And it’s worth repeating:

It’s raining, and my feet are soaked
I wore the wrong shoes on purpose
I guess you could say I like to ruin things
But really it’s more of a tendency
To dress how I want the weather to be 
Rather than how it is, how absurd of me

The closing “Tetris Game,” with more passionately strummed acoustics, also features a careful ear for quotation, as in the couplet “Let’s just get married if we’re going to fight / You wanna be my safe haven, I wanna stay the night.” This sort of playful seriousness is the reason pop was invented, people!

The too-short record, which Park humbly allows listeners to buy at a price of their choosing, features three excellent sometimes-lo-fi songs from when Park was 20 — not really that long ago — and one new piece, a ghostly and beautiful “To Love Me” that calls to mind Cynthia Dall. It’s an engaging little EP, a collection of a few shiny pop nuggets, and well worth your time to close out the year.

Now, onward to Soda Club in 2018.

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