Summer may be coming to an end, but considering all the new music released in the last few weeks, the poolside soundtracks are not ready to be shelved for the season just yet. To contribute to this never-ending heat wave of music, the surf rock virtuosos of Magic City Hippies released their newest album, Modern Animal, on Aug. 16.
From the magical city of Miami, the pop band comes in hot with their first ever full-length release. You may remember Magic City Hippies from their 2015 EP, Hippie Castle, which garnered millions of Spotify streams and still holds some of the group’s most popular songs. This new release follows a similar aesthetic, but is significantly more cohesive and cements the band’s tonal niche.
The album cover (and the cover of every Modern Animal single that led up to the full album release) follows a vaporwave color scheme, staying in muted pastel territory to fit the beachy indie electronic sound of the music. Each cartoon gives off a summertime soiree mood, playing even deeper into the daytime kickback theme.
The first track on Modern Animal, “Spice,” is more of an introduction to the album than a song meant to be played on its own. Without missing a beat, it sets an experimentally suave precedent to lead seamlessly into the next song, “Indiana.” This track starts off with a seductive few lines of lyrics. The vocals of singer-guitarist Robby Hunter sound as though he’s singing directly to a specific someone, upping the intimate nature of his rasp and making it all the more spicy.
Considering the tropical tones that pepper Modern Animal, it seems as though the LP should have been released earlier in the summer — the Miami influence shines in the references to the Florida heat and the long-weekend energy. With song titles like “Float” and “SPF,” the end of summer just seems too late considering the gloomy weather already taking over the California coast.
The last song on the album, “The Wind,” however, seems to lead listeners into those autumnal currents that come at the tail end of summer. Pulling from more acoustic influences, the gentle guitar picking and soft vocals celebrate the 37-minute party that comes with a full listen of Modern Animal. “The Wind” ends the album on a bit of a sad note, imbued with big-bad-breakup energy, but overall serves as a fitting end to the fiesta.
But the album holds a mix of laid-back party vibes and beach party energy. If you want more groovy dance tunes, look into songs like “SPF” and “Franny.” For more chilled-out sounds, check out the reggae-inspired track “Kamikaze” or the slow jam “Gunslingers.” Don’t know where to start and want a fusion of all of the above? The standout single from the album, “What Would I Do,” is the perfect place to start.
A bedroom pop gem, Modern Animal has a little bit of everything to keep you holding onto the summer months as September creeps by.