Junk Culture Summer Friends

In recent years, indiedom has developed an obsession with summer nostalgia, with bedroom musicians everywhere steeping their music in warm, hazy reverb and beach-friendly imagery. The new EP from Junk Culture (aka Mississippi beatmaker Deepak Mantena) is the latest in the trend, sporting a washed-out photograph on the album cover and song titles such as "Blissed Out" and "Weird Teenage Vibes." The title track opens the collection with tinkling tropical riffs and chanting tribal vocals that owe a clear debt to Animal Collective. Unfortunately, the rhythm section are a little thin, and the harsh singing means the music doesn't live up to its influences. The EP gets better as it goes along, and Mantena finds his footing with the quirky synths of "Golden Girl" and the laidback hip-hop groove of "Cozy Only." Despite these successes, Summer Friends suggests that it's time for the world of indie music to find a new obsession. (Illegal Art)