Up until now The Rocket Summer has been an essential artist on many summer playlists, his light hearted, energetic pop rock led by a mixture of simple guitar rhythms and bouncing piano prove a carefree pool side feel.
However, his 2016 offering ‘Zoetic’ is unlike anything we have heard from the artist before. This is the album that showcases the talent of The Rocket Summer in a whole new way. Up to now the offerings of his six previous albums and EPs have been simple pop rock melodies that provide very little in the way of harmony and interest. From the very first track Bryce Avary throws wave after wave of interesting and beautifully haunting vocal harmonies our way.
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‘Zoetic’ is a more mature offering than his earlier material and feels like the artist has finally found his sound – it’s a stand out album, the one where he throws us a curve ball and tells us to deal with it. ‘Zoetic’ has a darker feeling yet more vibrant hum, an expectation of the unexpected – quite intriguing at times.
One of the most noticeable changes are the mesmerizing vocal lines and harmonies that Avary has added to his arsenal. Instead of standard acoustic instrumentation, Avary now throws at us music that is less led by the acoustic guitar and piano instead being replaced by intricate vocal melodies and harmonies that create a musical layer all of their own backed up by heavier electric guitars and harder hitting electronic drum lines.
This is at its most memorable during the albums opening track ‘Cold War’, Avary mixes short, sharp robotic sounding vocals with softer more melodic vocals and shouting to create an fascinating mixture. The energy of the album builds throughout each of it’s eleven tracks, with each one providing something for all audiences. There’s the off beat style of ‘Cold War’ then theres the heart pounding ‘Get Over It’ and the spiritual theme of ‘Same Air’, a theme that fans will be familiar with from the ‘Do You Feel’ days.
This is the strongest offering to date from The Rocket Summer and an album that is a beautifully crafted blend of methodically placed intricately woven vocals, humming bass lines and thought provoking lyrics. It’s an escape album that offers something a little more than stable-mates from the same genre.
‘Zoetic’ is available now from Aviate Records 2016.
1. Cold War
2. Same Air
4. Help Me Out
5. Get Over It
6. White Fireworks
7. You Are, You Are
8. FL, CA
9. Rule Of Thirds Kind Of Life
11. Emergency Landing
This The Rocket Summer article was written by Kellie Shearer, a GIGsoup contributor. Lead photo by @benzucker.photos