There was a time when we looked to MTV and the right side of the FM dial to tune into the latest and most prevalent trends in pop music. That time was one that existed before artist-powered record labels and social networking; before international connectivity brought great minds of all schools, styles and backgrounds together. That time is over, and an era dominated by the likes of indie label BWH Music Group is upon us. Being a music journalist, I spend a lot of my time hunting down reliable sources of new, stimulating content, and I’ve taken to affectionately calling BWH “the association” as of late because of their high grade, consistently opulent signings. That Summer is their latest compilation of top talent, and it contains nothing short of pure pop perfection.
Erick Blu’s “Victorious (Ansimatik Remix)” immediately jumped through the speakers and struck me directly in the heart during my first listen of That Summer. Comprised of a litany of shimmering electronic notes delicately wrapped into a glassy, reflective pop anthem, “Victorious” is a technicolor adventure to the highest peaks of music’s brighter side. Not often does a remix supersede the original, but once you get hypnotized by this song’s beat, it’s hard to remember anything that you’ve listened to prior.
What sort of a comp would That Summer be if it didn’t feature at least one femme fatale crushing beats better than any of the boys in this business? Jenny Vinatieri’s “Rainbow” fills the spot with so much gusto that I found myself pulling my hair out with confusion over how the captains of this industry hadn’t noticed her sooner. “Rainbow” throttles us back and forth to a club beat that synchronizes to our rapidly increasing heartbeat and leaves us enamored and swept off our feet by this Colorado-based, up and coming popstar.
I had never heard her work before, but singer/songwriter Cole’s “If I’m Really” left me so spellbound in her gentle gaze that I was compelled to immediately find everything I could in her discography. This addictively sweet song took me by surprise, churning and building my anticipation through the opening before finally smashing through the ceiling in its divine chorus. It’s a striking track, and the funny thing is, it doesn’t take any of the thunder away from the other songs and artists on this record. If anything, it adds the perfect remaining ingredient to make That Summer an instant classic.
While I don’t have the time or creative freedom to talk about the other twelve superbly delivered tracks on That Summer, the strength of these three artists’ contributions alone is enough for me to tell everyone I know to get ahold of this record when the opportunity presents itself. BWH Music Group is setting the gold standard in pop music today and representing the DIY movement with class and uncompromising ethics. Top to bottom, That Summer is any consumer’s best bet this season for getting in touch with the pulse of pop culture itself, and more importantly, it’s the sweetest set of grooves you’re going to find in one convenient location. For my money, you really can’t beat that.