It’s been three years since his last release, but now, The Rocket Summer (aka Bryce Avary) is back again with his seventh full-length record, ‘Sweet Shivers’.
Opening track, ‘Morning Light’, works as the perfect introduction to the record, starting off with a melodic guitar riff slowly building in a series of hand claps before the rest of the instruments break in, paving the way for the rest of the album.
One of Avary‘s most praised attributes that he has continuously carried with him is his ability to produce an album that resembles exactly what The Rocket Summer has been about all these years; fun, catchy, sing-along songs. ‘Shatter Us’ captures this perfectly whilst also encompassing a new mature sound, which is a credit to how he’s grown and adapted to his audience over his now almost twenty year long career. It’s insanely infectious, with the chorus being one of the biggest earworms that you’ll hear this year. Expect it to be stuck in your head for quite some time.
An unusual aspect of this record is that, out of the 13 tracks, the latter half really holds the weight of this album, and unfortunately means potential new fans could easily switch off before some of the best tracks on offer here get their chance to shine.
‘5 4 3 2 1 Z’ kicks this off with the record’s dancier number that you instantly know would be the song to get any crowd going at a live show, possessing a contagious beat that you’d have a hard time not moving along too. It’s a quality that’s notorious with any The Rocket Summer album, mostly due to Avary being a skilled multi-instrumentalist.
The higher level of production value to ‘Sweet Shivers’ allows for some interesting new sounds to take shape, none more so than in ‘Gardens’, a song that deceives ears with a pretty piano melody before breaking its way into an electronic frenzy. Experimenting has never appeared to phase Avary, and he manages to mix the perfect combination of new and old to make for a successful track that feels both fresh and familiar.
Breaking up the high fuelled tracks are some impressive slower numbers. ‘Peace Signs’ shows off Avary‘s distinctive vocals and his ability to hit those ridiculous high notes that make his music so memorable, whilst ‘Wannalife’ is short and sweet at just over a minute, but makes for a nice acoustic addition on the album.
Hidden away towards the end of the record is one of the standout tracks, ‘World’s Greatest’. It’s one that’s going to be a hit with any old school fans, especially those who have a soft spot for the ‘Do You Feel’ era as it oozes that 2008 nostalgia.
For a seventh album, it’s evident that The Rocket Summer has no intention of ending just yet. ‘Sweet Shivers’ is a record that shows a new depth to what Bryce Avary can do, and his obvious talent and passion for what he does shines through each and every track.
The Rocket Summer has always been somewhat of an underrated artist, but with ‘Sweet Shivers’ he offers what could be one of 2019’s best albums.