Mustard Service – C’est la Vie

The latest release from Mustard Service is the perfect companion for if you’re looking for a good time. C’est la Vie is as laid back as its name implies, with groovy, jazzy indie pop goodness that blends Mac Demarco with Beach Boys surf. Add in a Latinx flair with a piña colada and we got this cocktail going. 

The band doesn’t take themselves too seriously and isn’t bogged down by too much over-thinking. Yet solid love songs with lush guitar work and exquisite production fills this 11-track listing. Mustard Service is quality service, and listening to this record is as refreshing as a cold drink served to you on the beach as the sun goes down.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the opening measures of “Need”, and see if you can’t help but groove to Marco Rivero’s croons. Or take the follow-up “Getting There”, that’s full of cool surf-y riffs that’s chill as a lazy evening under the tropical breeze. “We’ll be home soon / Remember yesterday / How far we’ve come today”, Rivero assures as the guitars paint a glittering night sky.

Then there’s the goofiness of “Daddie Dookie Brown”, which narrates a bizarre love triangle that features a character with a weird fetish: “Now Sally rains love down upon me”. Further solidifying that anything can happen in this world and we’re just along for the ride.

Another strength that Mustard Service has is their knack for creating nuanced love songs that always hit their mark. In “Mary’s”, they pay tribute to a Mary’s Coin Laundry. A 24-hour Miami grub spot that is apparently “really where it’s at”. It’s equal parts love song, tribute and Yelp review. Then there’s the two-part “Pleasantries (With Your Lover)” and Arguments “(With Your Lover)”, both of which are grounded in the reality of a relationships’ ups and downs. It’s dynamic and theatrical in its depiction of love’s intricacies, moving around from sultry doo-wop to swing rhythms that’s reminiscent of Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land”.

The album ends on a bittersweet note with “Fin” where the curtains fall down and the chairs are put on tables. The bartender announces the last call, and as you take the last swig of whiskey you tell yourself: “I find myself slowly forgetting you / Ain’t it a shame that’s how this ends”.

With C’est la Vie’s stellar collection of love songs and captivating indie pop, it’s a puzzle to me how they’re slipping past everybody’s radar. But with releases like this and their debut Zest Pop, I daresay it’s only a matter of time before Mustard Service blows up.

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