Artist: The Academic

Title: Acting My Age

Label: Capitol Records / Universal Music

Rating: 8/10

Words: Woody Woodworth

We are well into the summer now and luckily, new music is still being released despite the growing pandemic. Even though the live music industry has taken a huge hit, fans are still able to look forward to experiencing new songs to keep the monotony at a minimum. The Academic, based out of Ireland, brings their EP Acting My Age, which features an 80s vibe that’s built for those nostalgic summers we all miss. 

The album opens up with “Anything Could Happen” and it hits those 80s vibes right out of the gate. Mixed with strong instrumentals and even a hint of ukulele in the second verse gives it an almost ska feel as well. The bridge also shows off some perfectly placed gang harmonic vocals.

In “Unspoken,” it starts out with an ethereal opening and brings back those 80s vibes but a little more slowed down than “Anything Could Happen”

The title track “Acting My Age” brings out the more 80s electronica with a nice relaxing beat entwined with great vocals that gives off a Smallpools feel. The second wave of the first chorus doubles down on energy while the pre-chorus itself brings a vocal showcase. The bridge is a stripped back guitar quickly followed by a burst of full energy after a drum count in. The energy of the songs keeps building through the outro.

The next two songs, “Unspoken” and “Sunroof,” take a slightly different approach as we get into the meat of the EP. In “Unspoken,” it starts out with an ethereal opening and brings back those 80s vibes but a little more slowed down than “Anything Could Happen.” In “Sunroof,” the intro is perfect for a summer aesthetic, creatively mixing guitars and synth. The bridge highlights a nice guitar solo with a perfectly placed fade, bringing in some stripped back instrumentals for the end of the song.

The last two songs, “Happy Hour” and “Them,” bring the rest of the record together. In “Happy Hour,” there is a slow drum beat in the intro that easily matches the guitar riffing. The chorus, however, takes a different turn and is more upbeat and energetic like the rest of the tracks. The post-chorus shows off a twangy, guitar solo. In the final track, “Them,” the band takes an acoustic / ballad type approach. It’s the perfect ending to a record that we all needed.

Acting My Age is out now

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