This Will Be Our Summer Showcase, pt 1

Here, we’ll be taking a look at the Athens, GA label, This Will Be Our Summer Records.  We’ll scope out a few of their new releases and explore the label itself a bit.  Here’s part one!  Enjoy!

Artist: Madeline

Title: B-Sides

Released: 2012

Label: This Will Be Our Summer

Format: download

Genre: Folk rock

Madeline releases this splendid collection of unreleased tracks a few months after her release, “Black Velvet” for This Will Be Our Summer Records.  The album is sent via greeting card with a download code, which is a pretty cool idea.

Madeline’s vocals are intoxicating.  They’re sweet, powerful and amazing.  Her lyrics are dynamic and capture the true emotion of the subject of the song.  Just within the first three tracks, you are presented with a great range thereof, with the opening track being a prime, folky acoustic piece, the second being a happy indie-pop track, and the third being more of a blues piece.  Thus far, this album has a great set up.

Madeline makes good use of her voice.  On many tracks, she layers her vocals thick, creating deep melodies and echoing choruses.  While this is a tool many artists use, it feels a heck of a lot more natural here, like as if this was how her songs were meant to sound, no question.  A good example of this would be on “Raining in the Philippines.”

And for this album being a collection of unreleased works, it sounds like a fully cohesive album.  I wouldn’t have guessed otherwise.  Every track here is solid, even if some are short.  Seriously, from start to finish, this is a great recording.  Every track feels like it belongs here in this order.  The lyrics can be very poetic and conversational, and otherwise very true.  Obviously, there’s no doubt in my mind as to her songwriting abilities.

This is pure indie-pop / folk genius.  It’s hard to pick tracks that really stand out, but if I had to choose, I would say “Simon,” “30 Days,” “Trampoline Tuesdays,” and “Neon.”  Each are prime examples of her songwriting and awesome instrumentation.

Should you buy this?  If you’re into the aforementioned indie-pop and folk cross overs with some hints of blues and rock, this is for you.  If you’re fans of REM, Beth Orton, and material from the E6 Collective, this sound is for you.  Again, it’s hard to find the right comparison for this album, and even with what I’ve mentioned, it’s not close enough.  Still, I think you’ll enjoy this album.  It surprised me in some ways and I eventually found it hard to resist.  After listening to this, I’m interested in checking out her other LPs.

Check out Madeline’s site and This Will Be Our Summer for info about her records and how to order them.

4.7 out of 5.

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About Nick H.

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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