San Francisco native Jeremy Macachor, better known as Macajey, released his latest work Let’s Go this week. Its story takes place within a sound that features the organic foreground of a live band and the warm electronic backdrop of chillwave.
Since his 2013 debut at an Estonian art event, Macajey has been busy making a name for himself all over the world. Between the release of Water EP (2014) and his work with the band Odd Hugo, his short career has been a productive one; his experiences performing live and with a variety of instruments—in particular electric guitars, drum kits, and synthesizers—converge on Let’s Go.
Despite taking on the catch-all “electronic” label, Macachor’s sophomore effort has some significant indie rock elements, with entire guitar solos and crooning vocal leads on tracks like “The Fall,” which features Elle Leatham. Yet the same album also has tracks that are much more fitting of “electronic”—a steady chant on “Dosa” spins into a synth-charged breakdown that makes the listener really want to get up and move.
But moments like these are rare, and in comparison to Macajey’s debut Water EP, Let’s Go feels less ambitious. Water EP combined meaty beats with warbling guitars and complex polyrhythms. Let’s Go, despite having similar elements, seems to lack a clearly defined goal of what it wants to be—whether that goal is a glo-fi album with danceable beats and glitchy sounds or an indie rock album with a smattering of synthesizer with some effects thrown in in post-production is undeterminable. Furthermore, Elle Leatham, who makes an appearance on both works, doesn’t receive the same attention that she does on Water EP; even though she appears twice, both moments are forgettable.
Macajey is best when mixing earworm beats and less so when going for the operatic sound. Murky and heavily filtered vocals separate Let’s Go from similar vocally driven music like that of Toro Y Moi, and the highlights of the album occur when Macajey revisits the style he displayed on Water EP as seen on tracks like “Rrrumpus,” “Let’s Go,” and “Dosa.”