Poolside’s Jeffrey Paradise gets back to the basics with ‘Blame It All On Love’ – Press Enterprise

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While writing the fourth studio album, “Blame It All On Love,” for his Los Angeles area-based chillwave project Poolside, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Paradise found himself transported straight back to high school.

Though Paradise admits that the initial intention was never to tap into the teenage sense of wonder or the high hopes and extreme lows of young love, it all unfolded as a natural byproduct of allowing himself to more freely explore. He took a step back, imagining himself in his teenage bedroom, where he spent hours immersed in the creative process. Back then, he was fueled by the dream that at least one person, whether it be his parents or someone on the internet, would listen.

These days, there’s thousands of fans ready to hear what Paradise has to play live on stage, particularly on his latest North American tour, which is in support of the new record. He’ll hit The Sound in Del Mar on Jan. 25 and then play a hometown show at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on Jan. 26.

“Without realizing, this whole project was a return to the way I wrote songs when I was in high school and it felt like this weird recognition of going back to the beginning,” Paradise said during a recent Zoom interview. “It’s like going to a very known and comfortable place, but at the same time, you’re a different person. So, of course, it’s different. But it was comforting. I didn’t even know that this would work and I just thought I’d try it and I might sound like a child again, but let’s take a chance. I wanted to experiment with writing music from wherever that comes from rather than thinking ‘This is what I need to or have to do.’ When you’re a teenager, you do this just because it all feels amazing. It’s a different place.”

Recorded mostly at Paradise’s home in the hills of Malibu, the 11-track record seeps the distinct nu-disco and chillwave Poolside feel that’s heavily known to transport anyone listening into the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles. Since forming in 2011, coinciding with Paradise’s move to Los Angeles after graduating from college in San Francisco, the entire project has served as a heartfelt homage to the city that gave Poolside its breakthrough.

For Paradise, “Blame It All On Love” is no different, and maintains the tradition of delivering a warm and relaxing experience that, while not a prerequisite for listeners living in Los Angeles, perfectly complements the city’s vibes.

Yet, the record also dives into the double-edged sword feelings of attaining everything you desire, paired with the uncomfortable emotions that accompany success. From the seductive synth opener “Ride With You” to the lo-fi ballad “Lonely Night,” each story details a lesson or experience Paradise faced in the delicate balance between the gritty and the beautiful moments.

“When I look back again at the overall theme of the album and this era, it’s acknowledging that everything good also comes with a little bad. It goes back to this sort of bittersweet Shakespearean sort of darker side of love, where that’s found in the process of life,” Paradise said. “In life, you have the shadow side of going for what you pursue or when things work out whether that be getting the dream job, getting the car you wanted or even getting an A on your paper. Whatever it is that you think is going to make this shift in who you are, you realize it’s just you in the end. You don’t change radically. And I wanted to write on that.”

Reflecting on the project’s origins, Paradise recalls its early days at local Los Angeles spots like The Standard and The Echo, along with the Detroit Bar (now The Wayfarer) in Costa Mesa. Paradise stresses that without the help of Southern California venues and local radio stations, the dream of Poolside would have never been brought to life.

“So many of the smaller venues in (Los Angeles) gave us our start,” Paradise said. “And honestly, it’s crazy and feels like a full circle moment to be going on tour and playing bigger stages and ones I love, and as of now, they seem to be selling out.”

Now, as Paradise and the full live band ready for the upcoming tour, he expresses particular excitement about playing to his hometown audiences and dedicated fans who have been there since the beginning. For Paradise, what makes performing for these audiences truly unique is the profound sense of community he has felt since the inception of the project. But more than anything, its the chance to bring a sense of presence, to live in the moment and be able to soak it all up.

“I think of music as a gateway to bring levity to people and I think there’s like a communal kind of shared joy that you can experience,” Paradise said. “At any Poolside show, I believe that happens when the crowd is just one and there’s that sort of reprieve from the day to day. But not in an escapist way, you’re just in the moment. For me, music is one of the only things that does that, so it’s my goal to also give that back to the audiences.”

Poolside: ‘Blame It All On Love Tour’

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25

Where: The Sound, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar

Tickets $35-$65 at Ticketmaster.com

Also: 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26 at The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Tickets are $48-$180 at LiveNation.com.

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