Tag Archive: “Cruel Summer”

Cruel Summer releases their Ivy via LP and digital on Mt. St. Mtn. on June 30. Cruel Summer’s sound evokes the dazed, fuzzed-out, swirling noise of the late 1980s UK sound while still sticking to their pop roots–they’ve aptly been crowned San Francisco’s “jangle darlings.”

Following their 2013 ST/EP (Mt. St. Mtn.,) they released the sold-out lathe-cut 7-inch for “Leeches,” accompanied by a video. In 2016, Cruel Summer released “Around You, Around Me,” recorded for L.A.’s Part Time Punks, the 7-inch b-side features a moody cover of Pylon’s “Crazy.” It was mastered by Kramer (Galaxie 500 and Low).

Ivy is the long-awaited, first full-length album from this quartet, who have become a mainstay in the San Francisco and Oakland club scene. Recorded at Santo Studio in Oakland, California by Jason Kick (Sonny & the Sunsets, Once and Future Band, Mild High Club, Maus Haus), the record is a love poem to San Francisco, with all its changes and disappointments. Cruel Summer recently completed a California tour with the UK’s Primitives, and in early August they will be accompanying the ’90s noise pop demons Swirlies on a full west coast tour.

Catch them live here:

6/22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Knockout w/ Terry Malts, Male Gaze

7/8 –  Guernville, CA @ Deathstock III

8/3 –  San Diego, CA @ Space (fka Hideout) w/ The Swirlies

8/4 –  Visalia, CA @ Cellar Door w/ The Swirlies

8/5 –  Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar w/ The Swirlies

8/6 –  Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo w/ The Swirlies

8/7 –  Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst Atrium w/ The Swirlies

8/8 –  San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel w/ The Swirlies

8/10 –  Portland, OR @ The Doug Fir w/ The Swirlies

8/11 –  Seattle, WA @ Barboza w/ The Swirlies

8/12 –  Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown w/ The Swirlies

Cruel Summer
Cruel Summer

In 2013, the debut EP of San Francisco’s jangle darlings Cruel Summer hit the streets. Reminiscent of the mid to late ’80s C86 and SARAH sound with a dash of 4AD’s hazy early ’90s catalogue, Cruel Summer offered up six tracks of shimmering guitars and hazy, fuzzy pop on the black wax and was a nod to hours spent as a teenager in the late ’80s digging through NME and Melody Maker issues to find out who the secret overseas DIY pop hit-makers were.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Cruel Summer’s Josh Yule and Thea Chacamaty to find out who they believed 2014’s hit makers were.

Terry Malts – insides ep (slumberland)

It’s not everyday I find a 7″ that gives me vertigo from flipping it over and over every two and a half minutes. Side A boasts two pop gems to pump your fists at until you realize these songs are freakin dark man. Side B’s “Don’t” will be my favorite Terry Malts song for life. Beautifully written lyrics that really hit close to home about loosing grasp of your home/haunts to start a new all wrapped up with stop, starts, and feedback. Nice work guys! Oh wait, I failed to mention the minute and a half Chills cover of “hidden bay” at the end. Magnific…

Vaniish – memory work (metropolis)

I had been eagerly anticipating this album long before it was even recorded. After hearing  Keven Tecon and Amy Rosenoff were revamping their band Veil Veil Vanish after taking a break to take on as the rhythm section for Wax Idols I was stoked. And this album was sure worth that wait. Vaniish give my ears that Chameleons-esque vibe at times with a spruce of Clan of Xymox. I certainly hope to hear more from them in the future.

David Kilgour and The Heavy Eights – End Times Undone (merge)

Yeah sure I know, who doesn’t like the Clean but doesn’t it suck when the dude from one of your favorite bands keeps on making mediocre music that almost but never seems to hit the highpoint their old band always seemed to. Well in this case Mr Kilgour is the exception, and he has been making records for over 30 years now. Every song is strong. End times undone is one of those albums you physically cant skip through, It weighs you down to the nearest chair and takes flight. In fact I am listening to it right now. “Dropper,” first song side b is the jam.

Dead Leaf Echo – true. deep. sleeper (moon sounds)

Sadly this record has only four tracks but every single song is a complete zinger. Side a’s true deep sleeper and so wrong are upbeat and belong resting against some of those early ’90s creation albums and singles I adore so much. Side b travels a different departure all together a la 4ad, “it’ll end in tears.”  Cruel Summer has had the privilege to share the stage with these east coasters twice and I am only left wishing for more.

Laetitia Sadier – something shines

Once you’re a stereolab fan it’s for life. Laetitia Sadier’s new album is not dark as 2010’s “the trip” or as Jobim ladened as 2012’s silencio, but certainly has that sound that is undeniable stereolabs, (err or should I say The United States of America’s self titled sound, Silver Apples, Terry Riley whatever). Something shines has all those beautifully picked bass strings, dampened snare hits, and soft monotone vocals you are expecting with a little less farfisa. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Dissolve – st/ep (painter man)

Inna Kurikova and Blaine Patrick have been making music together for quite sometime now. Last years Modern Charms EP they released together was a joyride full of wild turns and feet nestled up on the your best buddies dash. But Dissolve gives me the feeling they may have been aiming for this the whole time. I have seen a few incarnations of Dissolves lineup but one thing always stands true to form, the connection between Inna and Blaine. Perhaps Blaine is the the bow to Inna’s cello.

Alex G – DSU (Orchid Tapes)

This baby genius’ record has been stuck in constant rotation for me since it was released. I’m a sucker for bedroom pop, and this is one of the best examples of it: ambitious arrangements, winding guitars, and shy vocals that always seem to be holding back just a little bit. I love you Alex G. Come back to San Francisco.

Cold Beat – Over Me (Crime on the Moon)

One of Hannah Lew’s post-Grass Widow projects–Lew officially proves to me that she’s my favorite Widow. Over Me is crammed with hooks from the infectious choruses of such jammers as “Worms” to “Tinted Glass”: an elegant, heartbreaking take on the Google buses that crawl along our streets here in SF. Is there anything this lady can’t do? Her music videos are incredible lo-fi works of art (she is the auteur of many local bands’ vids: the Mantles, Wax Idols, Tony Molina), and then she brings this gorgeous post-punk record into my life? What’s next, will she make the BART trains run all night?

Smiles – S/T cassette (Death Records)

Smiles are part of the guard in SF that has started to creep in as all the garage rockers gave up and moved to LA. Smiles are obsessed with britpop, delay pedals, and anoraks. Manny is a brilliant chameleon of a songwriter. Every time I see Smiles they have a different line-up and this is one of reasons I love them–they’re always changing but they will always sound a little bit like Spacemen 3.

Real Estate – Atlas (Domino)

When I first heard Atlas I was like, “Oh, another incredibly chill album that sounds like the Feelies on Percoset.” But then I realized that is NOT a bad thing.

(Visit Cruel Summer here: https://www.facebook.com/CruelSummerSF.)

Cruel Summer has announced a bunch of west coast dates, including several with Chicago’s The Bam Bams (Burger Records).  Here they are:

7.25 The Knockout, San Francisco CA w/ CCR Headcleaner

7.26  The Void, San Diego CA w/ SISU, Surf Club

7.27  Permanent Records, Los Angeles CA w/ SISU
8.24  TBA, Seattle WA w/ The Bam Bams, Grave Babies

8.25  Valentines, Portland OR w/ The Bam Bams

8.26  Le Voyeur, Olympia WA w/ The Bam Bams

8.27  Bows & Arrows, Sacramento CA w/ The Bam Bams, Scouse Gits

8.28  TBA, Oakland CA w/ The Bam Bams

8.30  Burger Records, Fullerton CA w/ The Bam Bams

8.31  TBA, San Diego CA

Cruel Summer
Cruel Summer

Jangle-monsters Cruel Summer released their EP via West Coast power-indie label Mt. St. Mtn..  The effort, which showcased a sound steeped in noise-pop awesomeness was recorded in March 2012 by Jason Kick of Maus Haus fame at Secret Studios.  The only complaint mustered about the record was its brevity and complaints like that are soon forgotten when immersed in breath-taking crescendos, and explosions of dreamy fuzz and feedback.

Cruel Summer are reminiscent of the mid to late ‘80s C86 and SARAH sound with a dash of 4AD’s hazy early ‘90s catalogue.  Naturally, Ghettoblaster had to catch up with CS’ Josh Yule to discuss the record.  This is what he said about it…

When did you begin writing the material for your record?   

Thea and I began writing about half of these songs at the end of 2011 when we, (a three-piece band at the time) were deeply in need of a bass player. Thea had some nearly complete songs from her solo project, Wild Gift, and I rushed to catch up. We kinda helped out one another with songwriting and ideas of which direction we should seek.

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?  Why was it so troublesome?

I don’t recall any one particular song being too much of a challenge when writing and recording. We were so high on coffee, pizza, burgers and fries, and beer it was all a blur.  

Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?

“Skinwalker” was originally meant to be really dark when first practiced in my basement. In my opinion, we as a band didn’t know we could produce darker songs. At that moment we had no idea where our sound was going and when it would finally smack us across the face. With that, I think we pushed a little harder and spent a little extra time on the mixing and layering for “Carquinez.” That’s when realization had sunk in deep. We had finally found “our” sound.  It was our satori if you will. No more Velocity Girl/Wedding Present riffs.  

Who produced the record?  What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?

Jason Kick of the SF band Maus Haus has recorded and mixed us three times now. He has such an amazing ear for detail and the patience of a soccer mom camping in line for several days to see TRAIN. 
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?

No concept really, although now that I think about it, Thea’s lyrics may have some underlying tones in a few songs that tie in together somewhere that the rest of us aren’t consciously aware of as of yet. The idea was kinda like, “Hey we should record these songs quick so we can write more.” I personally have a problem where if I don’t record something as soon as possible, it will never be finished. ever changing. Not to mention todays typical music listener, promoters, and music bloggers, (who generally just give you 30 seconds of scrolling through your song on a pair of jalopy desktop speakers) who require instant gratification. If you don’t have something up on bandcamp, soundcloud, or facebook people other than friends and relatives won’t even glance your way.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?

We have been playing most of the songs on the EP since day one. Our newer songs, that we are currently shopping for a home for, have gone in a darker and louder direction. But we still get asked if “Carquinez” is coming out on vinyl, generally by guys. And the ladies seem to be all up in to a 7″ of “Ventian Blinds.” Thanks to Mark and Jay at mt. st. mtn. you can have them both on one 12″

The debut of San Francisco’s jangle darlings Cruel Summer, who are reminiscent of the mid to late ‘80s C86 and SARAH sound with a dash of 4AD’s hazy early ‘90s catalogue, offers up six tracks of shimmering guitars and hazy, fuzzy pop on the black wax. Snatch it up from Mt St Mtn in late-May, and do it quick.  The record is limited to 250 copies.

Cruel Summer (photo by Beth LaBerge)

Earlier this year, jangle-monsters Cruel Summer released their EP via West Coast power-indie label Mt. St. Mtn..  The effort, which showcased a sound steeped in noise-pop awesomeness, was recorded in March by Jason Kick of Maus Haus fame at Secret Studios.  The only complaint mustered about the record was its brevity and complaints like that are soon forgotten when immersed in breath-taking crescendos, and explosions of dreamy fuzz and feedback.

While Cruel Summer’s output is sure to rise to the top of some “year-end” lists out there, Josh Yule was kind enough to offer us a look at his.  Below is what he was digging in 2012.  And keep an eye peeled for the Cruel Summer self-titled 12-inch that will be dropping in 2013.


For those of you who havent heard their prior band MAGIC BULLETS, shame on you. Fast, sweet, and excellent in headphones whilst wandering the aisles of Safeway at 2 a.m., looking for triscuits or opening up bottles of shampoo just to smell. Best SF band to see live. Best band in SF period.

Felty at times, but at the right times and without that Bob Dylan whining. Wow, Julian really knows how to entice you to write a better song. Eagerly anticipating playing a show with them someday soon.

Subtly arranged dreamy gems without overwhelming you with too many layers. I did not think they could top 2010’s waves. I was sadly mistaken. If you never partook in a listen to Siouxsie Sioux’s masterpiece tinderbox, well start here and end up there.

Is this dude really only 21 yrs. old? It totally resonates similarities today to that later john Lennon work of yesterday that my mom seemed to transfix time with as we scooted through town in the Vega running errands and singing loudly together. House guests exclaim, “thanks so much for playing Lou Reed!” This record is so Posey, (Posey is a catcher for the greatest baseball team of 2012. GO GIANTS!)

Yeah I know it came out in November of 2011, but after seeing these kiwis perform at the end of the 2012, I can’t seem to shelve this album.

Garagey, washed out, catchy riffs, with a wee bit of art fag in there for good measure. Greer is taking the SF garage movement on a well deserved vacation.

Haunting lyrics that seem to never loose that scariness no matter how many times you listen to this album. Driving guitars that make you wanna get up and go on a heroic adventure slaying dragons and kissing princesses, yet always checking the time to be back at home in time for dinner. It’s quite hard to believe one of these fellas played in Congested few.

DIIV :Oshin
Dance alone in your bedroom. Turn it up. Kiss your own reflection in the mirror. Write the name of someone you think is cute in your breath’s fog. Dare I say more gutsy than Beach Fossils?

Shoegaze for the now. Don’t worry, not much has changed. Maybe you’re just drunk instead of on pills, maybe you’re both, who knows? Perfect for rainy days, sunny days, all days. Just listen and float in and out of your mind to this fuzzy guitar daydream, the rhythmic pulse of Jordan Silbert’s drums beating up your heart.

Atmospheric chorus’s and melancholic swirls of unseen light and sounds. Tiny adjustments like a old slow PC that take your brain a second to catch up too. Always finding new nooks and crannies of sound they filled that you did not hear the first ten times. Then there is “No More girls” rearing it’s beautiful head in the middle of the album, man if this song could only last for another three minutes.