Yes, I know, the title of this post is a total cliche. However, fear not. There will be no Ibiza compilations or Festival Classics here. It's just a handy hook upon which to hang two lovely new bands I've found.
First up are Sun Airway, aka Jon and Patrick from Philadelphia, who I found on the Yvynyl blog, who described their song Waiting On You as "beachy delight and pop cotton candy". So far, so summery. This is a soundtrack to the summer of barbecue parties and drinking a nice glass of something in the evening, if such cool little tunes ever made it on to the stereo at barbecue parties, instead of the aforementioned Ibiza compilations and Festival Classics. The subtle laid-back hip-hop beat, the upbeat walking bassline, the hint of castanets, the laconic vocal - it all brings summer to mind. There's something quite lovely and poetic to the lyrics too, with the refrain about not going down gently making me think of Dylan Thomas and his good night.
The second summer band that have caught my eye lately is Tamaryn. At first, I wasn't sure whether Tamaryn was a she or a they, but it appears that Tamaryn is a they: singer Tamaryn and producer/instrumentalist Rex, who are from San Francisco. They have been catching coverage from pretty much everyone, but I'm giving the credit to Salad Fork, as I think I heard their song Sandstone there first. Sandstone is a summer song of a completely different variety, a hazy, dreamy opus that brings to mind the fierce heat of a desert midday. Tamaryn's hushed, atmospheric vocals have been compared to Hope Sandoval's, which I feel is fair, although she is lower down in the mix than Hope was in Mazzy Star. The looped, treated guitars and insistent drums are as hypnotic as a desert mirage, to continue the analogy.