RIYL: Paramore, Tonight Alive, Tsunami Bomb
Pop-punk for Ohio’s own Goldleaf. This, their debut EP Midas, is reminiscent of early 2000s pop-punk with a twist. Fronted by Ayana Cheston, the group conjures up easy comparisons to the likes of Paramore, Tonight Alive, and Tsunami Bomb.
While we’ve featured the entire EP here for your listening pleasure, it is merely coincidence that we’re posting this record, who’s lead track is aptly named “Friday the 13th.” The following song “Yell Louder” carries that Paramore-esque sound, but the production is thicker. This is likely because the band has a second guitarist to add to the sonic attack provided by Kyle James and Mike Malowski. Further, Steven Jackson and Josh Cheston round out the rhythm section. The sum of the quartet makes for hearty pop-punk stylings with heartfelt lyrics throughout.
Warning: these songs are going to get stuck in your head. Goldleaf creates a lively, upbeat atmosphere with most of their songs. The aforementioned “Yell Louder” and “Not Okay” will get cause listeners to sing along in no time. The back side of the EP changes direction slightly, bringing a more serious, in depth, epic sound, particularly on “What’s New,” and the album closer “Vanilla.”
Lyrically, vocally, and musically, the band and the EP are strong. Cheston’s vocals are amazing. Even if some of the songs don’t grab the listener’s ear, her talent is undeniable. The biggest letdown is that there are only six tracks, with a run time just south of 20 minutes. It’s too short, but also palatable enough to listen on repeat for hours.
Ultimately, if this is genre of music that you follow, you will dig this. The niche of female-fronted groups like this is very sparse in today’s music landscape so having Goldleaf is a breath of fresh air. Ayana has that Hayley Williams vocal style, but might just be a touch better. If you’re not sure, just press play. You won’t be sorry.