REVIEW: Florida Guilt // Bay Faction

It’s been about three years since Bay Faction has released a full length LP but they’re back with Florida Guilt. It strays a bit from their normal gloomy sound but still leaves the audience with the exact same emotional blow you would hear from any of their earlier music.

The album opens with “Faux Snow Globe,” a haunting tune with deep, drawn out vocals. When the background tone builds gradually, taking over the song, it feels as if you’re being sucked into a black hole by the daunting sounds. Florida Guilt is much more pop-like than their past work but it’s still just as enjoyable. Songs like “$1K” and “It’s Perfect” have much more upbeat rhythms yet the lyrics still hold has much sentiment as they would off any previous tracks they’ve produced. We move onto “Donor,” one of the best tracks on the short record. You can feel the lead singer, James McDermott’s, woes in your bones as he drones on in the chorus, “It'll never work out/Figure something else out/Baby it's okay/I'll go home early today/It'll never work out.” This track embodies the absolute essence of Bay Faction.

“Donor” transitions beautifully into “Florida Guilt,” where McDermott expresses his feeling of hopelessness: “Tell them how I feel/I just want to feel permanent.” The instrumentation matches his vocals perfectly, the sounds melding together to establish its wistful and melancholy tone. The track goes from fantastic to perfect when everything becomes muffled, leaving the listener drowning in the music.

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Listening will make you feel stable and secure but also as if you’re sinking into the ground, all the same time.

The sweet, gentle keys establish the slow but steady rhythm in “Sopping.” The first beat in the chorus combined with McDermott’s passionate vocals hit like a punch in the stomach. He reflects on growing up, singing, “Young life, what's it like?/How's it disappear?” Listening will make you feel stable and secure but also as if you’re sinking into the ground, all the same time. The only relatively weak track on the album is “Ur My Bug” however it still manages to be a tremendous song. The chorus is a bit repetitive and the auto tune takes away from the overall tone of the LP but it all comes together in the end with the seamless transition into “Camera’s in the Home”’s heavy beats and jaw dropping guitar backings.

The album wraps up with the high synth sounds and soothing vocals of “One Thrill.” The opening guitar on the song takes you back to the era of alternative rock in the late 2000s. This track could have been taken directly off a Twilight original soundtrack (in the best possible way). Overall, the audio editing is phenomenal. The electronic elements added a wonderful pop vibe that mixed surprisingly well with the bands regular dreary and somber sound. The overall sound is positively refreshing and it’s exciting to see this band produce another full length LP.

If you have an extra 20 minutes in your day, put this record on, close your eyes and escape with Bay Faction. You’ll love it more and more with every listen.


Rating: 9/10

Best Tracks: Donor, Sopping, Florida Guilt

- Bridget McGuigan