High Tides create gorgeous spells to burn down the nearest beach club. Chopped and screwed surf music. Psychedelic pop to drown your eardrums while a strange riptide drags you under. If Boards of Canada sipped a Sex on the Beach spiked with codeine, you might get something vaguely similar to Paradise Daze, the sophomore album from High Tides, sun-warped champions of yacht rot.
Their bio technically locates them in Malibu, but the duo of Warren Kroll and Steven Lutes can usually be found in the Pacific Northwest, smoking acres of emerald, sipping on quantities of rum that could kill a Caribbean pirate. It is true that this album, along with their masterful self-titled 2015 debut, was recorded entirely under the influence of Hawaiian shirts and conch shell necklaces. They are the first duo to method act the Endless Summer, except with a soundtrack that could turn foam caps fluorescent and turn the sky the color of an exploded Tide pod.
They record for Rad Cult, the label of TOBACCO, head creature of Black Moth Super Rainbow, conjuror of baleful incantations laced with unnatural nuclear winter beauty. If BMSR replicate the supernatural enchantment of a Grimm Tale in the forest, High Tides are their beach-burnt cousins, living in a cracked glass house on the shore. This is what the Odyssey’s Sirens would be singing if they had access to the Internet and legal weed.
In a world riven with chaos, High Tides offer a subtle escapism that refuses to rely on pyrotechnics or loud gimmicks. Paradise Daze is an offering of 10 littoral hymns that make familiar elements seem alien—a low perfect glow that can’t be extinguished, music to slow-dance atop the ashes.
This week’s playlist comes courtesy of Warren Kroll and Steven Lutes, aka High Tides. If you’re anything like us, wilting away in the East Coast winter, the February-to-March grayness has probably left you feeling haunted by the Ghost of Spring Break Past. You may not get a week-long break from reality anymore, but no fear: This playlist of summertime jams will wash away your late winter blues. Crank up your SAD lamp and press play—and be sure to check out High Tides’ new album Paradise Daze when it’s out on March 8.
—Annie Fell, Associate Editor, Talkhouse Music
Keith Hudson — “California”
Gotta love how smooth the guitar licks are, like liquids wisps. This groove feels like the very sound of living in the sunshine. The original version of this Hudson song is great too, but the laid back vibe of this version is ace.
9 Lazy 9 — “Electric Lazyland”
All the earlier Ninja Tune stuff is great, but this 9L9 song always comes to mind when thinking of summery jams. The low swinging beat is so dope, and makes this an instant head nodder.
Roy Ayers — “Everybody Loves The Sunshine”
What’s not to love about this song? You’ve got instant summer vibes right here. The patch that Roy used on the Arp conjurers ocean waves with the sun setting off in the distance.
The Verve — “Beautiful Mind”
The early Verve stuff is so lush. This song is such a gorgeous sunny tune. Sit back and just float away on those watery, shimmering guitars. Some really warm summer grooves to chill out to.
Evelyn “Champagne” King — “I Think My Heart Is Telling”
This song has a super smooth flow to it. That bassline plots along with such a classic warm feel. The vocals feel raw, but still add a layer of harmonic bliss. That drum kit is snapping tight and the handclap track makes you wanna move.
DMX Krew — “Say You’ll Never”
This song brings to mind warm weather hangs in the Midwest circa 2000/’01. Classic vocoder funk by Ed Upton on display here. DMX Krew reminds us of listening to tunes with friends late into the night, chilling, dancing, good summer times.
Hamilton Bohannon — “Wake Up”
This song fulfills all the desires for sleazy synth summer nights. All of the drums and synth work are really loose. There is some wicked vibrato on one of the synths that makes it sound like space bells. Who wouldn’t like that?
CFCF — “Raining Patterns”
Always dug this record by CFCF, and there is a really slick groove on this one in particular. The tempos of the drums and the synths flow in such a relaxed way. Great melodies for a late night summer drive.
Norman Connors (feat. Michael Henderson) — “You Are My Starship”
This is the soundtrack to love and heartbreak on the beach. Really great melancholic pop song with some fantastic synth textures and key playing.
Devonwho — “Purple”
Grade A summer synth funk by Devonwho. Absolutely love those swaggy basslines and the sunny feel of those keys. Bring this one down to a bonfire on the beach!
Body-San — “Sundress Beverage”
We’ve known Brandon for quite a while now and have always been big fans of his tunes. His Body-San project always brings to mind sunny days, chilling with buds, or having a impromptu dance party. He has such a gift for mixing deep soul and airy melodies, making his jams feel so natural, and this cut from his new record is a great example.