Sugar Candy Mountain

Sugar Candy Mountain are quietly not a local band anymore after making a move to Southern California, but they are still honoring their Bay Area roots with pride. For one, their brand new album 666, which just came out last week on PIAPTK Records, was recorded against a vibrant Bay Area tapestry.

The new album was recorded while they were still based in the Bay Area, between Fall 2014 and Spring 2015, with Jason Quever of Papercuts in San Francisco and their Oakland studio. Running wild with their premise of “Brian Wilson

[dropping] acid on the beach in Brazil” and jamming with Os Mutantes, 666 is the probably lushest, prettiest doom-saying record ever. Chirping keyboards, lightly strummed guitars, and understated vocals paint a languid mood on the image of California beach music.

While you can stream the entire album on Soundcloud now, the album closer “Summer of our Discontent” is a standout, perhaps because all songs about summer are exceedingly relevant at this point. It takes the pace to a beachy standstill, with an infectiously twinkling guitar line. Ash Reiter’s subtle yet honeyed vocal style complements a gorgeously heartbreaking performance that tells of a summer that isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, rid of its usual innocence and optimism. By the end, sweeping keyboards dial up the overwhelming pangs of bittersweet feelings. All in all, it’s a wistful earworm to make your heart feel heavy. You can almost hear the tide gently receding and filling as you lay on the beach, but maybe that’s just my imagination. You can hear it and the rest of the album below.

The good news is that the second part of their Bay Area roots-honoring is a couple local shows in the near future. They’ll be playing the OIM Records compilation release show at the Starline in a couple weeks, as they close out OIM Volume IIwith “A Day At Every Door.” But even closer than that, they’ll be playing a record release show of their own tomorrow night, following their LA release show. They’re bridging their two homes with style, and it’s a thing we’re happy to witness.

Sugar Candy Mountain (record release), Vinyl Williams, Hott MT
Brick & Mortar Music Hall
July 15, 2016
9pm, $7 (18+)