Rose City Band: Summerlong (2020)

Due to the fires devastating California and the Pacific Northwest, it's been 4 days since I've seen the sun, watching the black smog blot out the sky (through the windows, as we're urged to stay indoors given unhealthy air quality). So I need some summer sunshine music.

This latter-day psychedelic gem came out earlier this year, and it's a lifesaver (not to mention one of my favorite releases of the year). Like the self-titled debut from last year, it's gentle, cosmic Americana, twangy guitars that carry you from lethargic introspection to hilltop bar-band boogie. Stylistically, it's reminiscent of Beachwood Sparks (though a little less country and a little more spaced-out exploration) and like-minded pastoral revivalists Kingsbury Manx, with a healthy dose of Workingman's Dead thrown in. Hard to believe it emanates from the same singer-guitarist (Ripley Johnson) as the blast-force electric drones of Wooden Shjips.

Opener "Only Lonely" is pure Americana twang, melodic and folky, while "Empty Bottles" and "Floating Out" offer gentle psychedelic jams (sounding a bit like Luna). They liven things up a bit on songs like "Real Long Gone" (an upbeat road-trip ready stomp with a visit to the Dead's "Cumberland Blues") and the blues riffage of "Reno Shuffle." But it's all ideal for conjuring up some much-needed late summer sunshine.

Go pick it up at Bandcamp

Here's a fan-made video for "Only Lonely":
...and an audio rip of "Empty Bottles":
 Here's another fan-made video, this one for album-closing "Wildflowers":