Be it climate change’s current sun-drenched adaptation of a Pacific Northwest spring or the cloud-parting vocals of Colin Jenkins (Sex Life), but this track from Portland’s Rio Grands is a rooftop beer in the summer. Part of a 26-track recoding of alphabetical girls names, “Beverly” aims straight for the tropics, starting with a breezy synth intro chased by brass and jazzy guitar. It’s all a little Vegas, Jenkin’s crooning befitting of a stage filled with feathered female dancers. His slight rasp and endless howls give him a Julian Casablancas quality, if the Strokes lead was reborn on a cruise ship.
Dressed in steel-drum effects, shakers and flopping percussion that could double as shuffling sandals on pavement, “Beverly” is nothing if not a feel-good number. It’s a little George Benson, a little Rat Pack and a little Jimmy Buffet (minus the stuttering drunkenness). Mixed by Paul Laxer, “Beverly” is clean and stacked—predictable, given the producer’s work handling the sweeping sounds of Typhoon.
Formerly known as Rocky and the Proms, Rio Grands have spent the last year away from the stage and in the studio working on the A-Z project. Anchored by a jazzy lounge approach and a glistening horn section, the quintet is easy listening but not without nuance. The charm in “Beverly” lies in the swaying horns—which bob up and down like a buoy in international waters—and Jenkins’ retro-frontman vocal gusto. No, it’s not exactly hip nor is it daring, but Rio Grands’ newest offering is a ripe old grapefruit, sun-kissed and satisfying.