It is too apt a time in my imagined California summer to bring about the idea that sunshine can in fact be infused with the power of pop. My nostalgia of the tourist trap of summer sun, lay a mere week in passing but its sandy memory, made fertile under the wrestle of these London showers, still tears at my heart strings with every digital spin of my formerly mono, wax recordings. All of this pop once thought a passing fad, now turned eternal, celestial, somehow utilizes musical and production techniques that infiltrate passed usual musical understandings to sonically define the sun and summer weather. Its an important and magnificent example of how experience in a physical nature, be it summer love or catching curls of ocean currents, can be symbolized into sound waves and magically translated by a sound recipient miles and lifetimes removed from such happenings.
In listening to the Turtles’ “Happy Together”, the flagship example of sunshine pop, a routine early morning, California cloud cover takes shape over minor chord arrangements, a somewhat dismal portrayal of the pre noon doubts that are met by every California beachcomber praying for a break in the gray overcast. These prayers give life to the hope for breaking rays of noonday sun, embodied in the filled out harmonies of major chord chorals and lyrics of proclamation: “I can’t see me loving nobody but you for all my life”. In listening to these recordings it feels as if some part of my history is buried back there in 60s and 70s California. Have my parents’ experiences of their carefree summers of past somehow been transmogrified into my being to help me more fully understand the symbolism of these songs? Or is there something here that speaks on a higher plane in some secret sonic language that others can similarly identify with?
Or maybe I just watch too much TV.
[mp3] The Turtles – Happy Together
[mp3] The Beach Boys – Catch A Wave
[mp3] The Mamas and the Papas – Monday, Monday
[mp3] The Association – Along Comes Mary
[mp3] The Fifth Dimension – On The Beach (In Summer Time)