Davida Loca first burst on the scene in 2011 with his underground classic What Would You Say? Full of synth-driven ear worms and pop hooks, the bedroom-produced record contains multitudes of 80s glitz and glamour. But underneath the captivating, lo-fi haze, you can hear star-potential.
If you were to take Loca’s ear for big pop shown on his first record, let it mature over years of similar not-so-serious releases, and flesh it out with a full, live sound, Spell #6 is the masterpiece you get. There’s an emotional immediacy to Part Time’s newest work that seems to answer one simple question about timeless pop: what makes it so great?
From Spell #6’s artwork to Loca’s polished vocals, everything seems to have a higher aim. Even the song titles feel more direct and sentimental than his previous albums. Take “The Boys That Make Her Cry” for instance. Carried like a lost Del Shannon hit, dancing guitar and background harmonies intact, the song is a teenage anthem, simple and undeniably relatable.
And then there’s the heavenly elegance of “It’s Alright With Me”. The soothing arrangement led by stirring vocals from Loca, so stirring they actually channel Roy Orbison for me, create one timeless R&B song. One that I wouldn’t have guessed Part Time was capable of making (shame on me).
The truth is, timeless pop is unequivocal in its approach. There’s no gimmicks or mystery about how the artist is feeling or what they’re talking about. The songs that stick with us usually contain nothing but pure, undistorted emotion. Part Time, like never before, has tapped into that formula with Spell #6.