“Little Things” is a wonderfully catchy, dare I say, summer-esque, anthem for the legions of people whose summers resemble a clever indie film; it embraces the theme of growing up and getting on with your life. The visuals the song puts in your mind are unbelievable. From the well-executed, “Oooh oooh ooh”s throughout the track to the steady beats, it’s hard to picture anything but an awkwardly lanky teenager in board shorts, riding a bike through a small, coastal town before hopping over his neighbor’s fence to see the girl next-door. Anthemic.
Streamlining perfectly with its predecessor, “James’ Song” is a slower, softer-spoken song that plays like rippling water: beautifully and not without encouraging a reflection of your own. There is something very mellow about the overall tone. It’s the perfect background noise to floating in the pool on a lilo in summer heat that won’t let up, with the chirping of birds and grasshoppers filling the air, the smell of chlorine and freshly cut grass invading your senses. “All I’ll be,” the band croons, and it’s irresistible.
A little bit faster in style, “Charlie” is very nostalgic, sounding a lot like the songs most of us probably grew up with our parents or grandparents playing. Like a classic rock song, everything about it screams to be played again and again. The lyrics are beautiful, but the real show-stopper is the stunning vocal harmonies between masculine and feminine voices bring the song together brilliantly.
“Dirty Hobo” was a track I was very hesitant to listen to. An “up and coming band from Brooklyn” singing about a hobo? Oh boy…Was I wrong. Once again, I had to check myself and remember not to judge based on titles. The song actually turned out to be quite enjoyable, if not just for the amazing guitar parts. It also turned out to be more of a love story than a narrative of the Brooklyn streets. Once again, beautiful vocal harmonization, along with, my favorite, clapping, and very well layered elements of music; all in all, a noteworthy track.
The final song, “Stopping In The City,” carries the same nostalgic, indie feeling as “Charlie.” It’s like the soft-spoken kid in the back of the room: he doesn’t say much, but when he does, it carries a weight. If this song were part of a summer indie film, it would be the cliche part where the awaked, lanky teenage boy (see above) has an epiphany and gets the girl, even if it’s just for the last dance of the summer.
For a debut EP, Golden Summer certainly holds its own amongst other indie artist releases. Rhino House Band have produced eloquent lyrics and melodies that have come together wonderfully. To many, they may let this EP slide, putting it to one side as “just another EP” from “just another indie-pop band,” but I don’t think that’s the case.
The originality might not be so blatant that it’s smacking you in the face, but it’s certainly there. Rhino House Band have everything to go far in their genre (and possibly beyond), but the number one way I know this EP is golden (pun intended)? I had visions of movie scenes dancing in my head, and each song fit somewhere. That is the potential. That is the magic.