This ‘Blonde Summer’ article was written by Savannah McElhone, a GIGsoup contributor
Los Angeles quartet Blonde Summer have been an active band for five years, releasing their first EP ‘Eleganza’ in 2010. Tracks like ‘Silver Jesus’ (also their first music video, which accumulated over 16,000 views on YouTube) generated attention for Blonde Summer and two years later they returned with another EP, ‘Slow Blaze’, again amassing a considerable amount of YouTube views with the track ‘Slow Days Trust Company’. Following another EP in 2014 – ‘High Times’ – the band released their most recent record in 2015: ‘Paradise’. Comparing ‘Paradise’ to the previous releases reveals the evolution of the band’s sound. Prior EP’s had more of an indie/rock sound, whereas ‘Paradise’ attempts to translate that ever-elusive summer feeling into music, the result of which is an EP that brings you the warmth of a Californian day with the vibes of the night.
The gates of ‘Paradise’ (pun intended) open and the first track ‘CA Kid’ instantly brings warmth and the figurative smell of the Californian Pacific coast. Lyrical simplicity such as “I wake up to the sunlight / laugh about last night / a text says are you alright?” work in tandem with the psychedelic MGMT vibes; every layer of the song evoking a nostalgic yearning for that mythical last summer. The title-track ‘Paradise’ creates a festival feel, bringing that carefree feeling of nothing else mattering but good vibes on a golden evening. ‘Stay kids’, the third track on the EP, has a sentiment that needs no further explanation than the lyrics “If only we could just stay kids”. This track highlights the talent of lead singer Chris Pope, who here sounds similar to Jack Steadman (lead singer of Bombay Bicycle Club). The combination of Pope’s relaxed voice and the psychedelic vibes supporting him indicate that the band could be a future festival headliner. ‘Blazed’ sees the return to prominence of guitar riffs, somewhat reminiscent of their previous releases, giving the track a slight edge. ‘Dreamlife’ is the final track on the EP, providing its finishing point and also a resolution to the aural summer it has just provided. “Oh it’s a dream life / Oh oh it’s a dream life / Never wanna say goodbye / Never wanna say goodbye” is a lyrical manifestation of the end of summer feeling, never wanting to let summer leave, never wanting to return to normalcy, never wanting to say goodbye.
The ‘Paradise’ EP is almost summer incarnate and when the weather is getting colder and wetter, this EP can bring back fond memories of warmth and the summertime. Somehow Blonde Summer are able to create images of California, the beaches, the palm trees, blue skies and bluer waters, through their music, and this is a testament to their developing ability. They are definitely a band to keep an eye out for, but also a band whose recent release should be a necessity for the upcoming winter months if you ever want to remember that there once was a summer, or dream of warmth again.