Written by Joe Michelini, singer and guitarist for River City Extension, an 8 piece touring band from Toms River, NJ. When not on tour he is guest blogging for BandsOnABudget.com.
Summertime is just around the corner. It might not be beach weather yet, but it's certainly boardwalk weather and before we know it, it will be time for a dip in the great blue. For some reason, this is the first year I've wanted to have a predetermined group of "summer albums" to really dig into when the weather is warm. This includes anything from overlooked classics to local favorites, but for the sake of this article, I'm just going to fill you in on some new releases I've been diggin'.
Miniature Tigers - Mia Pharaoh
RIYL: Hall & Oates, MGMT
Starter Tracks - "Sex On The Regular" "Boomerang"
I'm not listing these in any kind of order, but this album has been in the heaviest of rotations. It's an 80's pop/yacht rock record with a fresh feel and enough variety to keep things interesting. Comes on kind of strong, but give it a chance. With singles like "Sex On The Regular" and "Female Doctor," this dance-y summer soundtrack deserves at least a spin or two.
The Front Bottoms - (Self Titled)
RIYL: Why?, The Mountain Goats
Starter Tracks - "Maps" "The Beers"
For those of you who aren't familiar with The Front Bottoms yet, meet The Front Bottoms. They are a New Jersey based duo (live trio) who play a blend of acoustic pop-punk and Why?-esque indie rock with inspired lyrics and a genuine message. It's not loud, it's not light, it just feels good. Check out their self-titled record out on Bar None Records.
First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
RIYL: The Be Good Tanyas, Conor Oberst
Starter Tracks - "Emmylou" "King of the World"
The Lion's Roar is a little on the darker side, but it's still a great summer dig. These girls voices are something else. All the way from Sweden, I had the pleasure of seeing them play a sold out show at Webster Hall a few months ago and was blown away. When you're listening to this record and thinking, "this sounds too good to be true," it's not. The girls pull it off and then some. This folk/country record was produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) and even features a guest vocal from Mr. Oberst on the very last song.
Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
RIYL: Matt Goold, The Beach Boys
Starter Tracks - "Honey Bunny" "Saying I Love You"
This one took me a second. When I heard it for the very first time, I didn't believe it- kind of wrote it off. Luckily, our friend Matt Goold talked me into giving it a second chance. Not only did he vouch for the songs and the songwriter being real and heartfelt, he said he's had a hard time putting the record down. After a few front to back listens, I'm in. This is a perfect summer record. It's easy and fun, it's different, and it's essentially just a solid rock record.
The Cave Singers - No Witch
RIYL: Deer Tick, Fleet Foxes
Starter Tracks - "Black Leaf" "No Prosecution If We Bail"
This record is a really good time. Hailing from Seattle, a friend turned me onto them after seeing their opening set on tour with Fleet Foxes. No Witch is their most recent record, and it's certainly their rock record. Feel free to jump backwards in the catalogue for some mellower jams, but if you wanna do some irresponsible dancing this summer, it's an excellent place to start.