Listen: The Drums

Imagine a young girl walking barefoot on a beach, hair blowing and her jeans rolled up, on a sun soaked summer morning. She finds a seashell and puts it to her ear, but instead of hearing the ocean, she gets serenaded by a carefree rush of surf guitars and sixties style harmonies. She smiles.

The image may be cliché, but that’s what popped into my head the first time I heard “Let’s Go Surfing” by New York based surf rockers, The Drums. Surprisingly, not only did the song paint a vivid picture of summer magic and innocence, but managed to sound contemporary and hip while doing it. That’s not an easy feat, but the Beach Boys-meets-Weezer sound is instantly appealing and refreshing.

Co-founders and childhood friends, Jonathan Pierce (vocals) and Jacob Graham (guitar) previously worked together in the short lived New Wave band Elkland before reuniting with The Drums and bringing in bassist Adam Kessler and drummer Connor Hanwick. Their debut EP, Summertime! is scheduled to be released in August and will feature instant summer favorites like the very British sounding “I Feel Stupid” and the oldies style ballad, “Down by the Water” -– a slice of romantic chivalry conceived in the backseat of ’67 Mustang after the prom. Actually, the entire EP embodies the pure, but fragile, essence of youth, first love, and beach parties, all seamlessly woven together against a backdrop of smooth vocal harmonies and eighties synths.

Influenced by such bands as The Wake, The Smiths, The Shangri-Las, and Joy Division, it’s their mix of New Wave and Sixties surf that squarely places them on the list of bands to watch.

“When we started The Drums we wondered, ‘What if Joy Division had done a beach party record?’” Jonathan Pierce explains. “We aren’t comparing ourselves to Joy Division, but we tend to write a handful of songs that evoked that idea. “Let’s Go Surfing” being one of them.”

Already the band’s developed some buzz, and deservedly so. With a growing list of live appearances and an upcoming EP, they’re primed for greater waves of adoration, hype and success. To think, some 40 years ago, Frankie and Annette would have loved ’em — probably still would.

Where’s the SPF?


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