Album Review: Underwater Peoples Records Showcase


      Underwater Peoples, the label that has brought amazing beach pop music to the attention of many (me included) is feeling quite generous this summer, giving away a summer sampler of all of their upcoming releases.

      Featuring the two most popular names from the label, Real Estate and Ducktails, the sampler fits in perfectly with your summer playlist. Along with the two instantly recognizable names, other less known artists littered throughout the album help round the entire sampler into something that feels much more like a real album or playlist than a random assortment of talent. Expect to hear names like Julian Lynch, Broken Trees, and Frat Dad not only in the next few paragraphs but throughout the next year as well.

underwater peoples showcase

      If you’ve ever heard anything from this label you know exactly what it sounds like, it’s an instantaneous reaction. If you haven’t though, let me begin by likening it to a few different bands: Air France, Wavves, and Panda Bear. A pretty formidable line-up if I do say so. It’s Underwater Peoples distinct style of artists that makes them so successful, too.

      The perfect combination of young talent in a niche market makes the label fully marketable to the right crowd, and creates a sort of obsession and craze around it that other companies can’t match. It’s exactly like magazines to newspapers; sure papers are good, but they can be too broad and the writing unspecific, yet the magazine can cover one area really well and with better writing tuned to the audience. It’s easy to see why this formula works.

      At any rate though, the sampler is the prefect treat for the upcoming summer months. From the pacific themed (I’m a big BSS fan) “Beach Comber” by Real Estate, to the less warm yet still enjoyable “Snow (Instrumental)” by the same act, There’s lots to love even from the headliners. But it’s track like “Banana Jam Pt. 1” from Julian Lynch and “Happy Still” from Broken Trees that makes me want to try and surf on the banks of the Mississippi around here.

Real Estate – “Beach Comber”

      It’s just something about this type of music that makes me happy. And not like a snobby happy that people get from Grizzly Bear or Animal Collective or something like that, but a feeling of near pure bliss that makes me just smile incessantly. I guess slightly lo-fi wave pop is my new thing, who knows.

      Let’s examine “Aqua” by Sad City for a moment. The last track on the album, and the only one by Sad City, it fades away like any great closer should, and yet the way the track builds internally is mesmerizing as well. The random percussion loops, the quite strings throughout, and clatter of instruments that are shaken not plucked all pieced together with Air France-like untranslatable vocal chattering samples that make a track that seems buried on the sampler still stick out.

      The music all seems like it’s completely new, a genre that’s just bursting with life and with an exuberant following ready to push it far into the limelight. Maybe it’s just the perfect timing of the summer and this album, but the Underwater Peoples Showcase has gotten my attention. So put on this tape, grab a buddy, open a cold one, sit on the beach, and reminisce over how beautiful life can be.

Grab the whole thing for FREE 

Underwater Peoples Summer Showcase

9 is the number of times I listened to “Beach Comber” while I wrote this, out of 10

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