You Won’t has been my group of choice this summer and has released a series of consistently outstanding singles. From what I’ve been able to gather, the songs that have deeply embedded themselves into my summer listening are the first singles off the Boston group’s forthcoming record, Skeptic Goodbye. My first exposure to You Won’t was “Three Car Garage,” which startled me. I often find myself with an aversion towards music that is openly evocative of Bob Dylan, but the song’s full production juxtaposed against the simultaneously vulnerable and sage vocals was almost addicting. Since first hearing “Three Car Garage,” I’ve paid attention to everything You Won’t has put out, my favorite being the most recent release, “Fat and Happy.” The qualities that made the band’s previous songs so distinctive seem to be refined and more succinct here. The song starts with a bluesy overdriven guitar part and is immediately accompanied by warm vocals. The introduction of an almost pulsating drum track gives the song a dreamy ambience without being atmospheric. The first verse is cut short by a roaring guitar track that depersonalizes the song. As it starts back up, Captain Beefheart style noise bellows beneath the track, which changes the mood of the song for a second time. An air of impermanence feels like it’s at the root of “Fat and Happy,” which combined with the almost preachy temperament of the vocals makes for an enjoyably haunting tune.
Adam Taylor Young appears to be just as much a music enthusiast as he is a musician. His music oriented tumblr http://memorymemory.tumblr.com/ is just as inspired as the music he creates, and it isn’t often one gets this level on insight into an artist’s taste and influences. I’ve personally learned about a handful of groups that I’ve spent a lot of times listening to, such as Pajama People and Stoner Showers, who are both deserving of their own respective posts, through his blog and I find myself checking it daily. While Memory is in and of itself worthy of being written about, Young’s music is by far the most compelling of his projects. He combines surfy laid-back guitar hooks with a simultaneously poppy yet dark style of songwriting. Of what I’ve been able to listen to of his vast catalog, “Worse Things” not only is a great introduction to his music but is also a brilliant song. The song is so simple that the few nuances refine and elevate what would otherwise be a pop track something very interesting. The manner in which the drums and organ slowly fade in at slightly different rates in the intro gives the song an initial eerie tone that is retained through the whole song. The guitar compliments this almost sinister vibe by sounding very carefree and thoughtless. The vocal melody, like many groups is clearly influenced by girl groups, but features a single note that occurs in the verse, of which an attempt to describe would be criminal. It has instantly become one of my favorite songs.
Cleveland four-piece FutureDays consists of Jonah, Gregory, Antoine and Gabe. Their music features intertwining guitar parts that are melodically very reminiscent of The Byrds, but much colder. This feature is highlighted in their song, “Tears,” perfectly. The tune’s abrupt start gives what would otherwise be a very relaxed riff an almost hectic vibe that carries through until the vocals start thirty seconds in. The vocals sound like a combination of The Byrds’ Vocalist, Roger McGuinn, but at times has an almost Kurt Vile air of hesitation. While not astonishingly original, the song is pretty and features well balanced and shelved production which seems to be becoming less and less common in guitar driven music.