School starts up soon for some, not until September for others. As we approach the last solid month of summer vacation, we present to you our list of the top ten essential summer sounds, suitable for loading up on your iPod and heading to the mountains, or the beach perhaps. We guarantee you’ll find something to fall in love with.
10. Trementina – “Not Everybody It’s the Same”, “Makes Me Think”, “Over All”.
Three whole songs, broken into two separate releases, this is one of the most promising debuts of any band from any nation. Worth seeking out. You’ll join their fan club in no time. Free download via Latino America Shoegaze, also on the band’s Soundcloud page.
9. Landing – II. Celebrating their 15-year anniversary, Landing does what they do. They do it better than everyone else. Start a groove, build and build upon it, and before you know, you’re hooked. It’s their world, we’re just living in it. Climb on, strap in, take the ride. Landing – II available only on cassette during their summer tour (victory lap?), will be available for wider release on their Bandcamp when they return home.
8. Tape Waves – Tape Waves EP. At first listen, it may seem slight. Jarod Weldin and Kim Hart deliver dream pop hooks with lilt and nuance (and just a hint of Twin Peaks-style dreaminess). Take it to the beach at dusk for maximum impact.
7. Grand Resort – Memory Loss EP. Fresh this month, and seriously sparkly. Jangly guitars and propulsive rhythms carry you away on a wash of melody. Another one we didn’t see coming until it wouldn’t let go.
6. Weekend – Jinx. Sure, it’s designed to reach a mass audience. Sure, it’s more post-punk than shoegaze. Weekend had some big aspirations with this, and they met the challenge. Sure to please the indie kids, the shoegaze-heads, and not offend your mom. Probably.
5. Wild Smiles – Take Me Away EP. These folks write some of the most compelling lo-fi tunes you’ll ever hear. We waited for this one, and it was worth it. Don’t be surprised if your toes start tapping and your head starts bobbing. It’s out of your control. Give in. Wickedly infectious.
4. True Widow – Circumambulation. Dirty. Fuzzy. Scuzzy. Repetitive. Insistent. There’s nothing fresh about this sound, it’s more like a stale, claustrophobic room with the drapes drawn. But you just can’t leave. Yeah, it’s like that. ‘Stonegaze’ is their sound, and they’ve mastered it. You’ve got to hand it to a band that sets their own rules and follows no trend. Aggressively priced for eMusic members at $3.92.
2. Pity Sex – Feast of Love. You might be tempted to dismiss a release that came with this much hype attached before the actual release. Pity Sex BROUGHT IT, and proved the doubters wrong. Angular and chaotic at times, but compelling, always.
1. suā – Twins EP. With “Welcome” and “Twins” acting as cornerstones, this EP sometimes softly caresses, sometimes sandpapers you, but always demands your attention and admiration. The band has no weak links, their songwriting has become stellar, and they don’t compromise. That’s good news for the rest of us. Brooklyn owns the summer, if not the year, in 2013.
What will the fall bring? Look forward to The Stargazer Lilies new album, possible new DIIV, long-awaited Solar Powered People, new music from Crisis Arm, more from Nothing, plus Slowdive’s Neil Halstead and Seefeel’s Mark Van Hoen collaborate on their new project, Black Hearted Brother, offered here:
Happy listening, and here’s to a great year in shoegaze and dream pop music!