Something has happened in Seattle. People are distorting their faces to entertain other people’s children. A drunk buying a jug of wine at the grocery store let an eager teenager cut in line. A complete stranger asked me how my day was going at a cross-walk. We were walking in the same direction so he told me about his children and gave me a cookie he just bought from a local bakery. The infamous ‘Seattle Freeze’, which is really an exaggeration, has thawed and evaporated into steam. No – we’re sweating it out. Seattleites are a patient bunch. We love our city all the time, but we bitch about the weather and usually with reason. But this particular stretch of season, the long awaited dry-time, is truly the most glorious in all the world. With this in mind, our ultra-slacker, nostalgia-rich, let’s get naked and bake song of the day is Neon Indian’s “Deadbeat Summer”.
This song sums up the endless teenage summer to perfection. Neon Indian’s well-reviewed debut, Psychic Chasms, is full of synth-heavy 80s production and lo-fi coolness with twinges of psychedelia. It also gets at that interesting state of listlessness that teenagers experience: being totally bored, but not really wanting to do anything either. One of the songs on the record is about a missed opportunity called “Should Have Taken Acid with You”. Besides being a killer pop jam, it accomplishes that wonderful trick of being funny, cool, and true too. That is the kind of thing a teenager regrets. Maybe he would have gotten laid? Is that what people do on acid? It would have filled the time; she would have at least thought he was cool. There isn’t a lot to learn from the teenage mind, but for some reason summer brings it back. One of the pitfalls of the ‘chillwave’ movement, of which Neon Indian is an example, is that the music takes itself too seriously. The genre itself is kind of nostalgia music, which sounds gross, but there is definite fun to be had. My favorite line from “Deadbeat Summer” is:
“Seeing thoughts on repeat, but I’d rather get something to eat”
It seems like all I did as a teenager was avoid people and ignore the crazy shit going on in my head. Usually by getting high, eating, and listening to music. These tasks drove my day-to-day existence. In retrospect I don’t think I was prepared to do much else. Park your mom’s 1985 Honda Civic in the shade of a tree, lay on the hood, and bump this joint. Happy Friday.