by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
There are a handful of bands that really understand the deep caterwauling center of what makes shoegaze great, and there are thousands who do not (though they try). San Francisco's Cruel Summer is a shining example of the former, a band that are quietly (figuratively speaking) creating some of the genre's best music since the days of Loveless and Mezcal Head. Last month the band released Ivy, their latest album, and August finds them out on the road with the legendary Swirlies, a match made in shoegaze heaven. Ivy is like a masterclass in texture and wavering noise pop, an album that blurs guitar lines together with soft focus and disorienting aplomb.
"Dusted," one of the record's many stand-out moments is a great introduction to their distorted bliss. Thea Chacamaty's vocals rattle on top of dreamy guitar surges and sharp rhythms, stripped of its edges and melted into a soupy delight. Her lyrics are pointed ("nothing's changed, all your friends are moving on") as she deals with changes to familiar surroundings ("my city is a flower wilted now, and turning into dust"). It's fuzz at its hypnotic pinnacle, both raw and untamed yet focused and inescapably melodic. The video features a hapless schlub (with a sweet Bart Simpson) seemingly down on his luck until he catches Cruel Summer on TV and his disposition (though still pretty hapless) changes to unbridled joy. Let it spread.
Cruel Summer's Ivy is out now via Mt. St. Mtn. Tour dates with Swirlies begin August 3rd, details below.
8/03 - San Diego, CA @ Space (fka Hideout) w/ The Swirlies
8/04 - Visalia, CA @ Cellar Door w/ The Swirlies
8/05 - Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar w/ The Swirlies
8/06 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo w/ The Swirlies
8/07 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst Atrium w/ The Swirlies
8/08 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel w/ The Swirlies
8/10 - Portland, OR @ The Doug Fir w/ The Swirlies
8/11 - Seattle, WA @ Barboza w/ The Swirlies
8/12 - Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown w/ The Swirlies