This week’s cocktail of Melodic Summer Songs arrives a bit later than normal due to crazy festival schedules. These long days spent soaking up hot rays and even hotter music makes us appreciate “feel good” summer tunes. That’s what’s on tap this week, so pour yourself a cold beverage and enjoy these singles.
For those of you counting the days until cooler weather arrives, Seattle quartet Beat Connection is here to remind you that summer’s not over yet, folks. The heat coming off this scorching new electropop single is enough to make you crank the A/C. It’s four minutes of irresistible fun. The full album (called Project 3) comes out later this fall on Anti Records. The temps may be cooler then, but this band certainly won’t be. They’re slated to play two major U.S. festivals (Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits), and starting August 1 their music will be featured in a commercial for Bose speakers. Get to know them now if you haven’t already, because they will be a household name in no time.
“Folky, lo-fi psych-rock/stoner country” sounds like an amalgamation of multiple genres coined by someone too lazy to strictly define a band’s sound. This would be true of The Space Merchants if only they didn’t sound exactly like that. The wall of sound created by the Brooklyn-based quartet comes from layers of shoegaze harmonies drenched in distorted, fuzzy guitars. It’s mesmerizing and addictive. The band’s self-titled LP was released last month on Aqualamb Records.
What are the elements of the perfect indie pop song? A catchy melody? Check. Smart lyrics? Check. A variety of instruments, all expertly played? Check. Impeccable harmonies from rich, inviting voices? Check. The new single from Seattle’s Pocket Panda has it all, from shimmering strings to a gently driving beat. Lead by singer Eric Herbig (that’s Dr. Herbig, since he holds a PhD in molecular biology), Pocket Panda’s sound is fresh and accessible. Dubbed “the smartest band in Seattle” because the group boasts nearly a dozen degrees between them, Pocket Panda offer a strong antidote to banal pop music. Their newest album, This Arrangement of Molecules, was released in April on Rogue Octopus records following a successful Kickstarter campaign. Don’t let the fact that they still have day jobs doing important work like cancer research fool you into thinking they’re not serious musicians: once the lab coat comes off, the musical creativity flows.
You expect indie bands from Florida to have a sunny sound, and that is exactly what Polyenso delivers. The lead single “Osaka Sun” from their upcoming second studio LP, Pure in the Plastic, (due out this fall) is a tropical blend of electronic and indie rock fused with jazzy vibes and subtle hip-hop beats. It’s impossible to define their sound in one word, because they incorporate multiple elements. Much like an ocean sunset, Polyenso has a warm, calming vibe that is simultaneously chill and stimulating.
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