Last summer’s indie singles were dominated by beach themes. It was a refreshing return to ’50s “Gidget” surf tunes and saccharine Beach Boys influences—but with a new punchy, cheeky spin. Musical couple Nathan Williams of Wavves and Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast were notable capitalists of this trend, glittering with California sunshine and reveling in the carefree attitude of summer ’10.
The only problem with this beach-punk genre is the level of camp. Sure, these artists may be authentic California kids, but the majority of us are not. Come winter time and you’re in the car singing along to “King of the Beach” while simultaneously trying to stop your teeth from chattering, you may begin to feel a little out of place. And with bands like Beach Fossils and Dirty Beaches releasing albums in February and March, by the time summer 2011 rolls around music fans are looking for something new. The answer may come in a new kind of wave, and for once this has nothing to do with the beach.
Brooklyn eight-piece Rubblebucket are the unsung heroes of the newest blog-invented genre “yes wave,” or accomplished musicians that choose to dwell in pop hooks and endlessly bright songs. While other fabricated archetypes fell to the wayside (aquacrunk, rape gaze, etc.) due to lack of clear definition, obscurity or just plainly offensive nature, with Rubblebucket as its poster child music fans will soon be riding the yes wave to summer playlist bliss and beyond.
Omega La La is Rubblebucket’s sophomore LP, but with a largely unnoticed self-titled debut, this is the band’s introduction to the greater part of the music world. With their first single “Silly Fathers,” however, Omega La La and Rubblebucket as a whole are set to get the attention they deserve. The track begins without abandon, unabashedly flaunting its intentions—to get your ass shaking.
The opening guitar chords hammer on with funk jangle typical of many ’70s Earth Wind and Fire hits but when the grounded-but-prominent bass line kicks in, it pulls the song back from its early dabbling in the overly typical.
This seems to be the pattern with Rubblebucket, as they continually strike the perfect balance between embracing their joyous pop sensibilities and boasting some major musical prowess. Lead vocalist Kalmia Traver’s unflustered alto is the perfect contrast to the track’s energy, allowing the music to breathe on its own, and syncing with the instruments rather than competing. Traver’s voice pairs well with shared-vocalist Alex Toth for well-placed harmonies for the chorus and soaring, sing-a-long worthy hey-ohs that are sure to add a bounce in your step. Rubblebucket bases the song in typical instrumentation—guitars, bass, keyboards, drums—but toward the end of “Silly Fathers” brings in the horn section to guide the song you never want to the inevitable close.
Prepare for this single to nest itself in your head. It won’t go anywhere for a while. This is a track not only for the heat waves of summer, but one that can last through fall and winter—or really any unapologetically joyful day (or at least one where you want to feel that way).
Rubblebucket begins their cross-country tour the music world can expect equally infectious singles to emerge long after summer ends.