Even though San Francisco's summers get an unfairly bad rap, that doesn't prevent us locals from enjoying many of the best parts of the season. Days at the beach, barbecues, road trips, street fairs and festivals: sure, you might need to carry a light sweater on some of your summer excursions, but the long days can't be beat for outdoor fun.
With solstice on the mind, we've compiled this mixtape of songs for the season, collecting new and recent releases by San Francisco Bay Area bands that feel like perfect additions to any summer playlist. As one might expect, you'll hear some beach-ready garage rock and surf-inspired sounds, like those of Ice Cream, Jet Trash and Union Pacific, mixing jangly reverb and big, hooky melodies.
That knack for pop carries through a number of the songs here, including a new electronic track from SF/NY band Painted Palms’ forthcoming album Horizons, and one from buzzed-about band Panic is Perfect. Two of our favorite local songwriters also make an appearance here. Ezra Furman has a growing cult, likely to expand further with the release of Perpetual Motion People in July; meanwhile, Christopher Owens recently surprised the world with a new record, Chrissybaby Forever.
At the same time, several offerings are slightly moodier -- think, perhaps, music for summer nights. Air Surgeon is another great band from the Death Records universe, and "dream wave" band the Silhouette Era has the equally reliable Breakup Records seal of approval. Anthony Ferraro has been recording for some time as Astronauts, etc., and his long-overdue debut LP arrives in September.
Finally, it wouldn't be a Bay Area summer mix without including some psychy sounds, with highlights coming from Paint the Trees White, Lemme Adams, and Fine Points. Adams describes his band's sound as "heavy surf rock," and the group just unveiled the wild new Black Flamingo EP. Fine Points is a name you might not be familiar with yet, but the band is led by members of Sleepy Sun, and its debut offering sounds very exciting.