Evan Gabriel ain’t no fan of Fannie Mae.
Even if he’s venting, Boston’s Ed Balloon is opening up a dialogue that most people are too scared to have with themselves, let alone an audience. A follow-up to 2015’s No Smoking, the latest offering from Balloon is a lovelorn, soulful snapshot of the years between going college and entering your 30’s. In step with Balloon’s style, Yellow 20-Somethings, is succinct, at just eight tracks. “Rant” is a particularly, honest moment, close to an interlude, one devoid of percussion. It lulls in a kind of dreamy, sometimes painfully reflective stare, full of telling anecdotes.
Financial woes, equal rights issues, and the encroaching fear of January 20th are all topics we (almost) all face. With it’s breezy, meditative chorus, ““Cool” also boasts the funniest line of the EP, when Balloon pleas to be absolved from Sallie Mae’s clutches. Amid racial tensions and overdue bills, the song pledges to take a step back and calm down.“Bombom” displays the danceability of Balloon’s music, emitting the pulsing energy of 3 AM in a cloudy basement club, concrete walls shuddering.
The airiest, most compelling section comes on “Power,” where the disillusionment of love is briefly lifted. The chords churn and church-like claps illustrate that moment in the club when the drone of conversations dissipate, and a fragmented moment of truth hits you for a split second. The song ends with the line, ‘How about I try and focus on me?,’ an idea that anchors Balloon’s music. If everyone in the room is focused on the lip sync at hand, Balloon is sure to be found somewhere else, attempting to float towards financial stability and happiness. Or at least show us a few moments along the journey.