June 26, 2013
The first half of 2013 has been a monumental six months for Cruel Summer. The jangle pop band completed their debut 12” EP, played the Noise Pop Festival, and snowballed some buzz along the way as we all waited for the record to be pressed. As it sometimes goes with anything D.I.Y., it can take independent record labels a little longer to press records than it does for major labels – and thus after a few months of waiting, Los Angeles based label Mt. St. Mtn. has finally finished pressing Cruel Summer’s self-titled EP.
The result is well worth the wait. The music on the EP is just what the local scene has been missing – a heavy, shoegaze-infused pop that creates a wall of fuzz as effectively as it does a wave of gentle ‘90s nostalgia. Then there’s the equally appealing presentation of the record, something usually neglected on a band’s first EP. It’s a 12” instead of 10”, which is great. The outer casing is die-cut with a C and S on either side, revealing a splash of tropical color over black beneath. And here’s the kicker – the artwork is done by Jay Howell, a native SF cartoonist, friend to Cruel Summer and Mt. St. Mtn., animator of Bob’s Burgers and overall a local hero.
Like most vinyl records, the Cruel Summer EP comes with a digital download, plus it also comes with an unreleased bonus track “Leeches”, which we’re premiering right here. You can hear the track below before you can hear it anywhere else.
Of course, the best time to hear “Leeches” is live in person at Cruel Summer’s record release show on Friday, June 28th at The Makeout Room. The band will be supported by a fairly new Oakland based group, Tears Club.Cruel Summer - 'Leeches'
Cruel Summer, Tears Club
June 28, 2013
May 15, 2013
Professional Fans is bringing its fourth official showcase to Brick & Mortar Music Hall on Sunday, May 19 with performances by Gothic Tropic, Seatraffic, and Cruel Summer. Expect a night of sunny California pop jams with subtly relatable undertones of emotional turmoil.
Gothic Tropic is a trio from L.A.’s Echo Park comprised of Cecilia Della Peruti, Daniel Denton, and Lia Braswell. The band’s sound echoes its moniker, fortifying rhythmic jungle pop with dark and witty themes. Listen to “Flesh Dance” off the Awesome Problems EP, below.
Rising San Francisco synth-pop duo Seatraffic, a Professional Fans favorite, will also perform at the showcase. Their track “Tempo of Regret” recently got the remix treatment from Moondive, which you can stream below.
Local newcomers Cruel Summer caught our attention with a few outstanding female fronted pop-rock singles on Bandcamp, dousing sweet summertime melodies with a post-punk shoegaze edge. Stream their self-titled EP below, recorded in San Francisco with Jason Kick at Secret Studios.
As usual, DJ CoolGreg and our own Katie Kopacz will represent Professional Fans with an all-vinyl DJ set. RSVP for the show on Facebook.
Gothic Tropic, Seatraffic, Cruel Summer, ProFan DJs
Brick & Mortar Music Hall
May 19, 2013
March 6, 2013
In Live This Month, we sample some of the great local and out-of-town bands performing in the coming month in the San Francisco Bay Area.
With South by Southwest leading much of independent music to converge in Austin later this month, tons of bands are hitting the road. All of them, it would seem, are playing in the San Francisco Bay Area in March. Even if you aren’t going to SXSW this year, you can still catch plenty of buzzed-about acts, like Thurston Moore’s noisy new band Chelsea Light Moving, or the experimental electronic pop of Autre Ne Veut. Also touring are Veronica Falls, bringing top-notch jangle pop to the Rickshaw Stop, and Ducktails, the solo project of Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile.
Things are a bit quieter on the local front — what with the many bands gone on Austin-bound tours — but there are still notable highlights. Led by Hether Fortune (also of Blasted Canyons), Oakland’s Wax Idols is celebrating the release of Discipline & Desire this month; the album’s coming in April on the always reliable Slumberland Records. Meanwhile, Cruel Summer has been wowing our writers for over a year now, and the band’s prepping for the release of its debut EP.
Enjoy the podcast and then go see some shows!
About the bands:
March 1, 2013
The Lovely Bad Things are SICK! No, really they have some kind of flu or something. The drummer was particularly sweaty but it didn’t seem to slow him down one bit. In fact the band was the loudest, fastest and noisiest of the evening. I can’t wait to see these guys when they’re healthy! They even played Priscilla’s special request for “Paperface” by Weezer. If you are headed to SXSW, catch them at the Volstead 3/16th.
SF’s Cruel Summer kicked off the evening. The 2 women in the group provide great vocal interplay and the band slides effortlessly from fuzz/noise to catchy pop hooks. The last song they played ended in a long repetitive frenzy that brought to mind a Brian Eno style wall-of-sound. [More...]
February 26, 2013
A year and a half after Cruel Summer’s conception in fall 2011, the band is finally gearing up to release their debut, self-titled EP in late March 2013, right in time to follow up their Noise Pop show at the Hemlock Tavern tomorrow, 2/27/13. Needless to say, Cruel Summer’s gears are turning quickly. Consisting of four members – singer and guitarist Thea Chacamaty, guitarist Josh Yule, drummer Sean Mosley and bassist Chani Hawthorne – Cruel Summer’s upcoming EP gives us just a little taste of what the band has to offer, a freshly brewed rock sound reminiscent of shoegaze and indie rock bands from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. With a near overdose of (albeit, super awesome) garage rock and psychedelic bands maintaining dominance in the Bay Area rock scene, Cruel Summer delivers a much needed breath of diversity.
I met up with Josh and Thea at Haus Coffee on 24th and Folsom (you know, that part of the Mission that still carries some wavering old school vibes) to talk about the new EP, the Noise Pop show, and the big year Cruel Summer has lying ahead in the remainder of 2013.
The Bay Bridged: How do you feel about the Noise Pop show on Wednesday?
TC: Pretty excited about it.
JY: It’s been a dream of mine since I moved to the city.
TC: We’re probably the rowdiest band on the bill for that show. Our new stuff especially is really loud and noisy, and we’re a really loud band in general when we play live. It’s going to be rad because we also have a record coming out soon.
JY: One of my best friends [Jay Howell] did our t-shirts and our album cover, and he also did the art for Noise Pop. Him and I do a night called “Smithsfits”, where we play only Smiths and Misfits records all night.
TC: It’s really amazing on Halloween, there’s a great costume contest.
JY: Jay moved to LA so we don’t get to do it that often anymore. For my own sanity we do it quarterly. It’s at the Knockout.
TC: He’s putting out our record too.
TBB: Tell me about the EP.
JY: We recorded it…
TC: Over a year ago.
JY: Our sound has changed a little bit. When we recorded the EP we had just became a band.
TC: I think the evolution of our sound is that it’s gotten a lot bigger, and more sophisticated.
JY: Our songs aren’t quite as poppy anymore. They’re kind of androgynous.
TC: Our songwriting process has changed a little bit. Now we’re coming closer to writing music as a band all together. [More...]
May 15, 2012
Jangle-monsters Cruel Summer have shared a new track that will appear on their upcoming EP (release date TBA) on Mt. St. Mtn., so expect limited edition noise-pop awesomeness with spectacular packaging in the near future.
“Carquinez” (yeah, like the bridge that takes one to lovely Vallejo) was recorded in March by Jason Kick of Maus Haus fame at Secret Studios. A popular song during their live sets, it starts out whispy and crescendos into an intense explosion of fuzz and feedback, while settling back down on its dreamy little cloud in the end. Only complaint is that it doesn’t last longer.
January 3, 2012
It can be extremely difficult to keep track of all of the new music that’s constantly floating around the Internet. Here’s our latest month-in-review mix collecting some our favorite new (or new to us) songs recently posted on the website. Gathered in the mix are a dozen new tracks that were posted on TheBayBridged.com in December, with links below to download each of them individually.
December 13, 2011
Friends of Friends is a new feature on The Bay Bridged, where a little name-dropping never hurt anyone. We interview a local band and get the lowdown on the music scene from their point of view. Who will they recommend for the next installment? Keep reading to find out.
When I wedged myself into the corner where the stage met the beer-caked floor at The Knockout’s packed POW! show last month, awaiting the night’s opening act, Cruel Summer, my thoughts alternated between shock and awe. The amount of buzz around a band with no releases and who have never before played a show — in other words, zero notches in their rock-and-roll bedpost — is more common nowadays, but still weird to some, including yours truly. However, Cruel Summer, consisting of singer and guitarist Thea Chacamaty, guitarist Josh Yule, drummer Sean Mosley, and bassist Chani Hawthorne, lived up to the hype.
The group’s self-description as “sound[ing] like Sonic Youth making illegitimate kin with the Wedding Present” is not far off, and I’ve been humming a mish-mash of the infectious concoction ever since. Who better to start this column off with than a band that is so up-and-coming that they arrived and killed it, practically uninvited? I didn’t even know I wanted you, Cruel Summer, but I do now. Here, come sit down. Have a drink. Let’s chat.
I met the band at Doc’s Clock in the Mission just in time, as the rounds of Fernet and PBR started passing hands.
TBB: Describe the Big Bang of Cruel Summer.
Josh Yule: I guess we’ve been a band for…
Thea Chacamaty: …about a year…
JY: …about three months…
TC: Well, Sean and Josh and I started playing music together earlier this year, and then three months ago Chani started playing with us. So, that’s when it started coming together, overall…
JC: …before, it didn’t…
TC: …yeah… (giggles)
JY: Well, we didn’t have a bass player. The first time I met Chani, though, she just moved here and would come into the coffee shop that I worked at. One day I was playing My Bloody Valentine and she told me she named her rabbit after them. You named your rabbit My Bloody Valentine? And she’s like, No, dummy. It’s My Bunny Valentine. We’ve been friends ever since.
Chani Hawthorne: (laughs) I just wanted a rabbit so I could have a My Bunny Valentine.
TBB: How do you guys click?
JY: Until Cruel Summer, I hadn’t played music in ten years. I used to play with two really good friends in Gainesville and I just assumed I would never have that kind of comradery and tightness with anyone else so I just said forget it and played guitar in my room, wrote riffs….
TBB: So, you feel that comradery with Cruel Summer?
JY: I do. I do. This is the band I wanted to play in in 1996. It just took a long time.
CH: When we practice, Josh and Thea start making a bunch of noise and then Sean and I are like, ok…
TBB: Is that your songwriting process?
TC: Usually what happens is Josh will write some amazing guitar riff and we’ll use that for the verses, and then I’ll write some pop chorus…
JY: And sometimes we’ll be playing two different things and Sean will pull it together and say, Put that part with that part…, so we end up having one good song instead of two bad songs.
TC: (laughs) Yeah, he’s like the editor.
TBB: Why do you think San Francisco is a special place for music?