Thursday, June 26, 2008

summer palace by sunny day sets fire

There’s a certain art to finding a new favorite band. As an audiophile I suffer from the High Fidelity syndrome. In the end, nothing escapes meaning. I’ve never pulled a Bridget Jones and powered though a pint of Ben and Jerry's on a stress related binge. No, as an elevated, musically enlightened human being, I make playlists, I chronicle my life in a diary of mixed CDs. The easiest way to become my favorite band is to release a CD during a particularly tumultuous time. (Did I mention I'm a masochist? Oh noes!) Failing this, you better sound darn good while driving around with my windows rolled down, volume cranked up to eleven. I'm fairly happy at the moment so I guess the first option is out. Lucky for Sunny Day Sets Fire the rattles, hooks and hums on their new album (out now on iTunes and emusic, available everywhere July 8th) Summer Palace are particularly affecting when matched with the shrieks, squeals, and cursing of Santa Monica Boulevard.

With my fashion sense, a film noir could easily be shot in my closet. However, I like my pop infused with a breath of sunshine (which you already knew), even if under said sunshine I'm sweltering unattractively in my twelve shades of black. Summer Palace's good-time vibe fits in just north of the Flaming Lips' smooth, message-driven psychedelic rock on At War With The Mystics, but just south of Architecture in Helsinki's party time chaos on Places Like This. It's controlled, calculated insanity sprinkled with a layer of sugar. Can you control insanity? Would you want to? Oh my. My teeth hurt.

More reason to like them? They embody the sort of highbrow multicultural cute that with all of my travels I've yet to achieve. With members hailing from the UK, China, Italy, and Canada there's something, either in person or influence, for everyone. Hooky pop for the geekster hiding her easily burned pale skin, under dark layers? Check. Consummate multi-instrumentalists for those who enjoy their live music switched up Belle and Sebastian style? Yup. Playful lyrics rendered in a series of mild to heavy accents...thus assuring a breezy, multi-ethnic sex appeal? By golly I think we have an indie-rock trifecta! Squeel. Now if you pardon me, I'm going to put my iTunes on and bounce around like a sugar buzzed toddler for a bit.

(photo sunny day sets fire: David Studarus)

mp3: "Brainless" by Sunny Day Sets Fire

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