2nd Grade’s debut album Hit to Hit is out now via Double Double Whammy Records.
Who: Peter Gill (vocals, guitar), Catherine Dwyer (guitar, vocals), Jon Samuels (guitar, vocals), Jack Washburn (bass, vocals), and Will Kennedy (drums).
Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Why: Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, power-pop quintet 2nd Grade are the perfect sound for the summer. Calling to mind the likes of Lemonheads, Courtney Barnett and Weezer, their songs are emotional and melodic snapshots of earworm candy. The first single from their recently released debut album Hit to Hit, ‘Velodrome’ is a perfect example of this. Clocking in at under two minutes it is a genial piece of beautiful yearning.
‘My Bike’ is another highlight. A laidback and relaxed ode to riding your bike to the record store, it’s kind of like the indie rock version of Queen’s ‘Bicycle Race’. A tribute to the simple things: “I don’t need much, if anything / I think I’m happy, yes I really do / Just riding around and listening”.
Elsewhere, ‘Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider’ is a piece of wonderfully idiosyncratic guitar pop that harks back to the days of The Monkees and early Beatles but with a twist of the humour of early alternative rock.
Personally, one of my favourites is the acoustic led ‘Something I’ll Have To Remember’. The longest track on the album, it is a frankly beautiful ode to the people in your life you can rely on: “There’s always someone, it’s true / Who’s trying to do right by you / ‘Cause to them, you’re important”.
Buy 2nd Grade’s music on Bandcamp.