Finely-crafted pop-rock with an Americana twist – the EP Pomona delivers four blissfully heartfelt and impressively-crafted singles, and effectively takes listeners back to the heart of organic music.
Dave Vargo’s latest feature, on the collaborative Project 18, brings through a full-band sound and strength of songwriting united, for a nostalgic yet crisp and clean listen.
In the Night is the opener, a warming pop-rock anthem with equal parts intimacy and melodic appeal, yet an upbeat core to drive things in a joyful direction; perhaps opposing the longing of the lyrics. Mildly reminiscent of Goo Goo Dolls, this poetic journey ultimately resolves with hope, and the brightness of the music underlines that well – a quality that rings loud throughout Pomona.
You’re my Life follows the opener, a matching set-up but a quickly unique riff and a more country-esque story and style. Again things feel intimate, emotive and loaded with poetic imagery and love. The soundscape rises up beautifully as the song gathers momentum, and all the while these layers of voice, guitar, bass and drums appear faultlessly united.
Introducing a well-placed break from the fullness of prior anthems, Lucky Charm turns down an acoustic finger-picked pathway, with husky yet gentle vocals and a sense of longing for the past initially resounding. Slowly but surely the song finds its groove, melancholy evolving into sheer joy and gratitude, depicted by everything from the lyrics to the tone to the final full-band arrangement. The completed piece feels a little like a Bryan Adams classic – a shift in gears for Dave Vargo but a welcomed twist and a stunning performance.
Wrapping things up is a return to the big-band vibrancy and embrace. Know My Name is as catchy as ever, a fourth hit for a full-house EP that keeps on giving. The whole thing feels instantly familiar, yet it requires you to listen along and tune in more closely to first connect with the words and melody – a clever way to blend the present and the past, and indeed to connect with music fans across the board.
The true balance between professionalism and passion throughout Pomona results in a gorgeously timeless collection – an easy must for your playlists this spring time.
Songs written by Scott Rubine & Jay Weiner. Check out Dave Vargo on Facebook & Instagram.