Do you like summer road trips? Do you love gaming the night away at the arcade? Did you get in trouble at sleep-away camp as a kid? Do you have a soft spot for long, lazy days at the lake?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re going to want to get to know Die Scum Inc. and their latest release. Founded in 2015, the duo from Calgary, Canada have been putting themselves on the map with their unique, nostalgic take on synthpop. Members T-Roy and Ror-Y describe their albums as “Notion City Soundtracks”. Typically, this means pulling from a wide variety of 80s movie and music influences to create a kind of fictitious soundtrack.
With ‘Everending Summer’, though, they’ve chosen to stick a little closer to home, focusing on Canada’s all too brief summers. ‘Everending Summer’ is a collection of dreamy electronic instrumentals, each one capturing a slightly different flavor of nostalgia. The album opens with “See You In Two Weeks”, a dreamy soundscape that eases you straight back to summer camp with its’ classic fade into a smooth 80s’ synth homage. The guys follow up with “Chasing Summer”, where they pull off the impressive trick of creating a track that at once feels new and incredibly familiar.
“Arcade Knights” is another great track, fun and danceable, while being just cheesy enough to pay homage to the band’s 80s pop roots. “8-bit Romance” (feat. Ethereal Delusions), with a steady stream of nifty video game samples, will take you straight back to falling in love over arcade games – or Super Smash Bros, for the younger kids in the crowd. The beauty of ‘Everending Summer’ is how open-ended of a listening experience it is. With no lyrics to get in the way, it’s a kind of musical fill-in-the-blanks, where you get to let your imagination run as wild as you want.
“Meet Me After Lights Out” is an album highlight, another song to happily dance the night away to. The shimmering, gorgeous melody is pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Title track “Everending Summer”(feat. Moonrunner ’83) piles layers upon layers of shimmering synths, and it serves, fittingly, as the high point of the story Die Scum Inc. are writing with this album. The guys build the song gently up to big breaks before easing out to a soft fade, leaving the listener wanting just a little more.
“Bonfires” is rich with layers of melody all working together. All of the songs on this album are gorgeously produced, but this one deserves special mention. The final track, “Labour Day” (feat JJ Christie), is a bittersweet finish. Fittingly, it draws the album to a slightly moodier, sadder close, but there’s a promise of more to come here. Summer always comes around again, even if it’s never quite the same. Of course, you can play ‘Everending Summer’ as many times as you like, but with so much going on in the music, no two listens will ever be quite the same either. And that’s a good thing.
I don’t know how Die Scum Inc. have perfectly captured everyone’s best summer memories with this album, but somehow they have. Here in Canada, summer’s drawing to an end, but with ‘Everending Summer’, the best parts are just a click away. Even if you’re not normally a synthpop fan, this is a great album to check out – you might just be one after you finish. ‘Everending Summer’ came out on Bandcamp June 18, and is out on cassette in August, so there’s nothing stopping you from hopping on the nostalgia train.
Pick up your copy of ‘Everending Summer’ out now, HERE!