Between Rock and an Indie Place: “So Polite” by Summer Salt

Do you love that soothing sound of The Beach Boys that makes you just want to soak up some sun on the beach with a few cocktails? If so, then you will love Summer Salt — an oldies revival band from Austin, TX. The trio is celebrating the success of what is only their third EP, which released on April 3rd of 2017, entitled So Polite. Even for those who are not huge fans of oldies music, their sound is bound to have listeners bobbing their heads to the silky smooth sound of three friends making some beautiful music together.

I would try and sum up their music myself, but fortunately they have a wonderful description of themselves on their Bandcamp webpage. They’re self-described as, “a rock’n’roll three-o of best pals. With influences of bossa nova and oldies. We create the perfect soundtrack for chillaxin’ by the pool.” Be sure to include Summer Salt on your next summertime playlist because their music is a must-have for any long road trips to the beach. They’re great tunes for kicking back with friends and escaping from the tribulations of the real world.

Take, for example, the first cut off of So Polite, “Candy Wrappers.” I could enjoy this song whether I’m slaving away at a desk during exam weeks or if it’s in the dead of winter. If I close my eyes while I’m listening to this song, I am immediately transported to a warmer place where the only thing that’s cold is the drinks, and the good times roll. This song acts as my three-minute shot of summertime for when I need a break from studying. Not only that, but the song also doubles as a breakup song that is great for getting over those pesky exes:

“Well I just can’t sit around here waiting,
Waiting for her to get back home.
So for now, you’ll find me on the moon.
I’ve got no lemon drops, or bubblegum.”

This is a theme that I notice throughout a lot of indie rock. These songs where the instrumental is very upbeat on its own, but the underlying lyrics are actually quite depressing. The juxtaposition between pessimism and optimism is palpable, but hey, it’s whatever helps you get over your breakup, man. Keep the good tunes comin’.

Personally, I will admit, I was never able to get into The Beach Boys or other oldies bands with similar music. That is the main reason why I love Summer Salt so much; there is no other band in my Spotify library that sounds even remotely close to them. I think I like them so much because they are able to combine the eclectic tunes of oldies with the contemporary vibes of indie rock.

I discovered this band in the related artists section on Spotify for a Chicago indie rock band called The Walters, which shares a similar style to Summer Salt. Luckily, I attended a concert last year where Summer Salt actually opened for The Walters. The crowd was movin’ and groovin’ to this awesome brand of throwback music that feels so familiar yet so fresh at the same time. Both bands put on a helluva live show and everyone left their concerts elated and in a way better mood then they were in when they entered the show. I am so happy that there seems to be a movement of bands putting out hybrid indie-rock/oldies music. I am all for it!

I would’ve never actively sought out songs on So Polite like “Revvin’ My Cj7” or “Prickly Pear” — I will admit that I had to Google what a “Cj7” is — I guess it is a type of Jeep for those of you who didn’t know like me. Heck, “Pear Prickly” is just two minutes straight of chill instrumental oldies music; that is definitely not something I would usually be into. However, I really dug the music off their previous two EPs, so I was more open-minded coming into listening to this new one for the first time. Overall, I really like the trio’s unique sound and I think that this is another one of those bands that people should be sure keep on their indie rock radar because they are just about ready to blow up.

— Noah Slowik, Fiction Editor and Music Blogger

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