Three-piece, surf-inflected garage rock band Beach Day celebrated the release of its first official 7-inch record with a show at Radio-Active Records in Fort Lauderdale last night. Despite the fact that the band competed with a monsoon-like thunderstorm for fans’ attention, a crowd of 70 eager local fans showed up, phone cameras set to video, on a Monday night to see the trio perform live.
“What an awesome beach day!” singer/guitarist Kim Drake said to her wet-socked fans as buckets of rain dumped onto Federal Highway outside. As a rule, I compete with no eager fans at shows for a space with a view, especially when it comes to the new wave of garage rock bands, whose music provides a nice, hip background mostly and whose fans can be a bit rabid. I caught just slivers, between the crowd’s arms, of Drake and bassist Natalie Smallish swaying and the top of drummer Skyler Black’s hair bouncing up and down at his kit.
The first two songs they played were waves of distorted sonic chaos that caused the front row of the crowd to head bob, but broke over me with little effect. The third, in which Drake’s pipes, tuned to a girly 1950s sound, added a prettiness to the set. What she said, I do not know. The band is a fun listen, but the garage door to my heart for music requires some lyrical depth to budge, so the tone of my appreciation for Beach Day will require a few spins of the 7-inch that I bought.
Like one of the flashes of lighting in the big storm outside, the band seems to have come out of nowhere in the last couple of months and reached local buzz status in its mere eight-month existence. The next six months are all booked up. Beach Day sets off on a short East Coast tour for the remainder of July that will take them to Brooklyn and back. Brooklyn is home to Kanine Records (Surfer Blood’s first label), which signed the band in April, according to Drake, and is supporting the release and promotion of their current 7-inch as well as the full-length album that they recently recorded in Los Angeles and will release in January. The band will be local for August, but has big plans for September, when they’ll release a second 7-inch record and set off on a North American tour that, Drake says, will include stops at the Montreal Pop Festival in September and the CMJ Music Marathon in October.
Beach Day’s relationship with Kanine, according to guitarist/singer Kim Drake, resulted from a cold email the band sent to the label. An hour after writing to the label, she says, they heard back from owner Lio Cerezo. According to Drake, Lio “sent us a ton of questions and we recorded demos in my living room on my iPhone. They were stripped down so that they could hear the songs. They picked what songs would be included on the record.”
The band’s full-length record has a name, according to the band, but “we’re not revealing it yet,” Kim says. “It has to do with everything that we went through to get where we are right now.” Nudged to provide details or hints, the band declined. Drake did say, “Oh my God. It’s so dramatic. If a camera had been following us for the last eight months, it’d be such a good story.”
–By Courtney Hambright