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ep review: serrulata

Indie jazz trio Court Verano released their debut EP Serrulata yesterday, featuring five brand new tracks in addition to the single “Serrulata’s Theme.” Although the band has only released two singles prior to this project, they have been growing on the local scene over the past year. Their unique soundin addition to their undeniable musicianship and skillsets them apart from the garage rock-inspired music that is commonly found in young Southern California bands.

The EP begins with “Small Fortune,” my personal favorite on the project. The intro slowly leads you into the ethereal guitar tones and smooth grooves before bringing in vocals and a walking bass line. Drummer Taylor McNamara’s jazz techniques add a whole other layer of intricacies to the rhythms of the song, especially in the bridge as singer Finn Pacheco repeats “I know it’s you, I know it’s you.” This track ends by flowing perfectly into the next song, “Serrulata’s Theme.”

The second track, “Serrulata’s Theme,” was released as a single last year. It begins as a lulling ballad that slowly rocks you back and forth until the rhythm picks up at the chorus. The song takes a turn about halfway through, with a breakdown featuring a bright guitar riff. The song continues with the same sound.

“Nostalgia” starts off with a soft and almost psychedelic guitar riff that makes you feel as the song would suggest—nostalgic. This song features a soft kalimba sound that mimics the melody of the vocals throughout the song. Soft droning synth in the instrumental parts of the track gives “Nostalgia” a vintage feel, almost as if it’s playing over melodic TV static. At the bridge the rhythms build and light piano is added to create a completely different feeling, emphasizing a clear climax of the song until the music slowly fades back into the original and familiar guitar melody.

The fourth track “Seven Years” seems to be more of a classic indie take on the smooth Court Verano sound. The slow surf-inspired guitar and drums set the tone for the song as a relaxing ballad about having to be patient and wait for something you can’t wait for. The lyrics of the chorus tell the story, “you’ve been waiting for some time. I know you wanted me, seven years is way too long.” The song fades at the bridge, with muffled harmonies added to Pacheco’s vocals before breaking into a guitar solo with off-beat and upbeat rhythms.

“Summer” feels like it belongs in a movie soundtrack. It sounds like what a hot and sticky summer’s night with a lover would feel like. The lyrics tell the story of just that—what it’s like to be loved in the summer when everything is happy and carefree. The chorus repeats, “It’s love in the summer and you know how it feels to be loved, It’s real in the summer, all is good, and you know how it feels to be loved.”

The final track “Photographs” opens with a smooth indie guitar and crispy synth—reminiscent of psych-pop bands like Mild High Club but with a softer feel and velvety vocals. This track has a nostalgic but hopeful tone, the perfect way to end the project.

Listen to Serrulata, out now on all streaming platforms, and catch Court Verano at Malone’s on March 15th and at other upcoming shows!

Listen below:

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