Since he started writing and recording his songs in 2003 under the name the Blank Tapes, quintessential California dude Matt Adams has built up quite a résumé of laid-back but not relaxed, loose but not meandering, quiet but not boring, Archies meet the Velvets meet the Dead lo-fi indie pop. He usually records his songs on his own using an old eight-track machine, often with the help of a few friends, but occasionally he takes his songs to a studio and lets someone else steer the ship. On 2018's album Candy, Adams decamped to the Portland studio of the Fruit Bats' Eric D. Johnson to record and came back with a semi-polished gem. With a tiny bit of tidying around the edges, Adams was able to truly channel his inner Wilbury and lay down a batch of chilled (almost to the point of frozen) midtempo jams that warm the ears and the soul. From the minute the album's first song, "Paradise," starts chugging along calmly like one of George Harrison's late-career classics, it's clear that Adams is making a bid for a classic album. As song after song of low-key pop perfection saunter casually past, it's also clear that he's come darn close to reaching his goal. Whether it's jangly bubblegum folk ("Candy"), a shuffling pop song ("It's in My Mind"), a moody meditation on marijuana ("Let Yourself Get Down"), or a spiraling ballad that fades out in a haze of guitar solos and vocal harmonies, Adams and his small crew (which also includes longtime collaborator Will Halsey on occasional drums and Veronica Bianqui on heavenly backing vocals) deliver little fluffy clouds of dreamy goodness from beginning to end. The mood is peaceful, the vibes are harmonious, and Adams uses his inside-out knowledge of classic rock tropes for good instead of evil. There's never a point where irony takes over for innocence or calculation supersedes the simplicity of the melodies; Adams is just a guy playing the kind of music that sounds good to him, not someone trying to make a statement or a buck. That's a rare and noble quality, and it makes it easy for a jaded music fan to love the Blank Tapes and truly absorb the warmth that Candy shoots out like sunbeams.