The lazy, hazy days of summer are upon us, and while my intent today was to delve deep into the Natalie Merchant Collection – well, I’m feeling lazy and, thanks to the Delaware Valley’s patented humidity, my thought process is as hazy as the sky looks from my window. Even with the a.c. running, the thick air has seeped into my skull and clouded the synapses, making analysis more of a chore than it should be.
So, instead, I’m tripping into the past with new songs that sound like they could’ve been released in the late 1960s in preparation for another sojourn into the sunny sounds of the Summer of Love, which I plan to post on July 4th (if not sooner).
1) Lucy Rose – “No Good at All.” I suppose I should have heard of Lucy Rose before March of this year, given that she’s been turning ears since 2012. But it wasn’t until she released “Floral Dresses,” which features backing vocals by the Staves, that she appeared on my radar. This, the second single from her forthcoming Something’s Changing album, possesses a wondrous retro vibe.
2) Lia Pamina – “Sycamore Tree.” Elefant Records is one of my favorite labels – just about everything it releases sounds like a lost treasure from yesteryear. This sweet song was written and produced by Joe Moore (the Yearning).
3) The Primitives – “I’ll Trust the Wind.” The Coventry-based indie-pop band, another Elefant Records act, is probably best known for their 1988 hit “Crash.”
4) Sundowners – “Ritual.” I don’t know much about this Liverpool-based group beyond the inclusion of this track on Mojo’s June Children of Pepper CD compilation. I like them.
5) Hannah’s Yard – “Better Together.” Hannah & Co. cover the Jack Johnson song from the singer-songwriter’s 2005 In Between Dreams album. I’m cheating a bit by including it, I know, as it’s not exactly retro – but Hannah’s voice is timeless.
And one bonus:
6) The Parcels – “Overnight.” They’re an Aussie band that’s now located in Berlin, and they blend ‘70s-era disco and pop. This song conjures Blondie and Chic.