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Culture Shock

Ben's Hot Takes: Band's to Watch For/Listen To This Summer

I'm taking a week off of saying extremely divisive things about music, so I'm going to make a list of some music you might enjoy. It's May, which means that it's almost time for summer! For those of you with Seasonal Affective Disorder, you may be looking for some music with some good vibes to accompany the nice weather. Luckily, I have the hookup for 4 great bands to keep in mind and a summer playlist


Summer Salt:

With the release of two new singles "Candy Wrappers" and "Revvin' My Cj7" Summer Salt is throwing in their hat for a new great summer EP: So Polite. Summer Salt, from Austin Texas, is an old band in a new band's skin. Their style seems to be an homage to the surf rock of old (Beach Boys, Doo-Wop-type material). Not only that, the band makes some great songs just for relaxing to and pretending that you're on a beach in Hawaii. Each song has a nice relaxing guitar paired with a great falsetto singing voice. You should listen to Driving to Hawaii and Going Native to get extremely excited for the new album, although these albums should not incite any feeling other than relaxation. So Polite is set to release on "Summer" so keep a look out for it whenever it may come.


The singles that came from this album weren't the only aspect that got me excited for this summer release. TOPS came out with the song "Hollow Sound of the Morning Chimes" in 2015 and it is one of the sole sources of excitement I have for this upcoming album. With a 2.25-minute long guitar solo at the end. TOPS, though known for their clean guitar solos and soft female singer, isn't usually a summery sounding band, but if you listen to the new single "Petals" the summery vibes just take over along with an 80's pop twist to their normal sound. The second single "Dayglow Bimbo" sounds like it has a little bit of a DIIV influence. Regardless of the previous work, TOPS has come out with two great singles that are a change of pace, and very "Summery". I can't wait for the new album Sugar at the Gate to come out June 2nd!

The Drums:

The Drums seem like an indie pop staple nowadays. With their release of albums like Portamento and their self-titled album (and the songs within "Money", "Down By The Water", "Days", "Let's Go Surfing", etc.) are meant to put you in the mood to sit on the beach and relax. Though The Drums had a little bit of a departure from their usual style with the album Encyclopedia, the two new singles that were released, "Blood Under My Belt" and "Heart Basel", are a return to form. "Blood Under My Belt" is almost as catchy as "Money" is and that is a feat that I thought was impossible. The singles mark a return to the light and jaunty style of their first two albums and I, for one, can't wait for the new album Abysmal Thoughts to come out June 16th.

Beach Fossils:

Besides the fact that there are too many bands with the word "Beach" in them: Beach House, Beach Fossils, Beach Boys, Dirty Beaches, etc; Beach Fossils has always been a great band for the summer. With the release of their previous albums What A Pleasure and Clash the Truth Beach Fossils established themselves as a lo-fi jangle-pop type band (With songs like "What a Pleasure" and "Shallow" starting with a catchy ten note guitar riff and repeating it throughout), but the new singles from their upcoming album "Somersault" they step up up the production value of their songs while also maintaining stylistic integrity. From the two singles I have heard, "Saint Ivy" and "Tangerine", this album is going to have more varied instrumentation along with keeping up their summer vibe. I'm glad Beach Fossils is showing a natural progression from one album to the next, and I am excited for what they show me on June 2nd.


~S~V~ is a playlist I made just for summer and summer vibes, I will continue to update it when I find a new song I think will fit it. If you have any suggestions, please email me at Bkessler (at) Wiux (dot) Org with the subject: Hot Takes



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