Estella distances himself from sunshine pop's sentimentality by eschewing the genre's reliance on sappy love songs; Pacific Drift is largely instrumental, and its outdoorsy titles touch on seasons and seashores rather than how "I" feel about "you." This allows him to trip on sunshine's sonic diversity, as he laces his understated funky beats and reliable bass lines with chiming keyboards, melodic feedback, and layers of naturalistic noise -- birds chirping, waves lapping, kids playing, the whole bit. Estella even retains sunshine pop's campy side with some nifty vocal covers. Among these, Chris Gunst (Beachwood Sparks) mewls wonderfully on Estella's noisy version of the Monkees' "Porpoise Song," while Jimmy Tamborello (The Postal Service) convincingly pulls off creepily stupid lyrics like "Your mouth's a constellation" on the murmuring Zombies tune "I Won't Hurt You."
To be sure, Pacific Drift isn't a perfect document. "Psilo-cycling (Trip 'Round the Block)" proves as aimlessly wandering as its title implies, and the organ-and-clavinet-soaked "Headspace" comes off as a bit ponderous. But these don't eclipse Estella's overall accomplishment: This Nobody has made sunshine pop that you don't need shades to enjoy.