Summer music should perfectly emulate the activities that a sunny, hot, glorious, relaxed season has to offer. It should be as light and worry free as that old beat up, perfectly worn-in pair of flip flops. Cheerleader’s latest release, Sunshine Of Your Youth, offers this feeling in perfect pop-hooks and a carefree detour into Pop-Punk without the music ever sounding like a childish guilty pleasure. Music like this is always best when it evokes nostalgia for past memories and sounds. Sunshine Of Your Youth is perfect in this way. It’s an absolute smorgasbord of hooky, dopey, Pop goodness reminiscent of music we dug as kids but now reimagined for adult ears.
It’s a shame it was a rainy weekend on the West Coast when I listened to this album. Sunshine Of Your Youth shimmers with heat from the first track to the last and is more suitable for listening while sipping cold beer on a dock by the water than staying indoors as the rain pelts the pavement. Title track, “Sunshine of Your Youth” has pounding drums, a catchy reverb-drenched guitar melody, and vocals that hook and hook until being released cathartically into an arena-rock chorus that is just, well, badass. It lifts spirits and makes a cloudy day bright.
From “Sunshine of Your Youth”, the album continuously builds momentum. The music is straight up fun, and in an age when even beer is scrutinized for things like ‘mouth-feel’, God knows that some things just need to be fun and easy. Sometimes I like my lager to be just a lager, my movies to have big explosions, and sometimes I like my music to be pure Pop. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Cheerleader show off their music chops with gloriously realized compositions that are fresh but simultaneously sound like everything that came before it. A nice example of this is “A Million Ways”, a track found around the half-way mark of the album. It’s the kind of track that gives those Indie rom-com movies their cutesy feel. Every bar of music on “A Million Ways” stands-out on this album of full of stand-out songs. The chorus is incredibly catchy, and gloriously corny and in this case, corny is good. Cheerleader aren’t trying to be Radiohead; they relish in releasing glossed-up tunes to dance to, to chill out with.
“Sunshine of Your Youth” is an absolute winner of a summer album. It’s fun and catchy while maintaining enough sophistication to be appreciated musically. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.