Nearing a decade old and with a discography reaching deep into double figures across several different labels (Mexican Summer, INSERT others), David Loca’s work under the Part Time moniker really shouldn’t require any introduction. Nonetheless, the release of what is officially his sixth album, fittingly titled Spell #6, does signal something of a re-birth and provides a compelling entry point for anyone new to Loca’s prolific output. Whereas previous albums were notable for a charming lo-fi production, Spell #6 takes Part Time uptown.
"I describe this album as 'my studio album', because it was entirely re-recorded at my drummer Walter Byer's studio, unlike most of my past releases being bedroom experimental pop recordings." Loca produced the record himself, impressively appropriating a classic 80s pop sound that recalls some of the more grand productions of that era - think Stephen Street’s expressive production on ‘Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me’, Crowded House and The Church’s widescreen interpolation of Paisley Underground jangle, and there's even traces Gerard McMann’s grandiose ‘Cry Little Sister’. In that sense, the record stands as an outlier in Loca’s catalogue, and in doing so sheds the sometimes limiting trappings of bedroom recording. Though it is Loca’s project, Spell #6 sees him joined by a consistent supporting cast of fellow writers and performers who add a poise and deftness to his vision, most notably Ariel Pink, who makes a guest appearance on lead single, ‘I Can Treat You Better’.
Reflecting on the song, Loca states, "I decided to take it lyrically to a place as if i were a man noticing an unhappy lady in her relationship and I'm telling her that he isn't good for her." A lead single for its obvious earworm qualities, it also functions as an ideal snapshot of the lyrical themes that run through the entire record: romantic gestures and unrequited love, bad decisions on hot nights/hot decisions on bad nights, and unpinning it all, LA. For this is evidently a West Coast record, like a 2018 take on To Live and Die in LA: expansive, grand, and not a little crazy (in love) from the heat.
1 Before You Fall Apart
3 I Can Treat You Better (feat. Ariel Pink)
4 Shattered Love
5 So Far Away
6 Spell #6
7 The Boys That Make Her Cry
8 I Didn’t Know
9 It’s Alright With Me
10 Silent Franchine (MRF)