In what can only be described as a perfect bit of timing for everyone with early onset Fall blues, tropicalia-nuts Vacationer
provided us with a mixtape of tropically leaning-tunes to bring back the lazy days of summer, even though they've barely just left us. Mix a rum drink, open a window, and let these bad boys of sand-and-surf rock you into relaxation.
1. "The Sound Of Surf" - Percy Faith and His Orchestra - The Sound of Surf
This melody is incredibly on point. The 45 is a rarity, if you come across one do not pass it up!
2. "Baby" - Gal Costa - Gal Costa
My goodness, the marriage of vocal performance, arrangement and production on this record are magical. The way the reverb in the room hits the tape when she wails the word "baby" during the 2nd and 3rd chorus melt my heart every time.
3. "Latin-Esque" - Esquivel! - Esquivel! Remixed
If you like vintage tripped-out recordings, you need to dig Esquivel! He was and innovative composer right at the dawn of stereo. Lots of panning vibraphone and natural delays, not to mention orchestral shredding. He was the originator of "space age bachelor pad music". Dig it!
NOT PICTURED. "What Now, My Love" - The Fabulous Echoes -
From the record "Breakin' It Up At Dukes!" I bought this record on a whim at a local skateboard/record shop for $5 based on intriguing sleeve art. It's my favorite blind purchase to date. The live recording is flawless and the band just plain slays, this song especially is a slam dunk performance. Kind of sounds like a 1960's tropic-pop Grizzly Bear on this track. The Echos are an under-the-radar gem of the past. [Ed. Note: We tried extremely hard to track this one down, but it eluded us. It will have to be your own personal quest if you're up to it, to find it in your local used record shop. Good luck!
4. "Dolly Dawn" - Harry Belafonte - Calypso
Harry is a major influence in how we deliver the vocals for Vacationer, we consistently reference him in the studio. This song is among his best, I love the harmonies!
5. "Sentimental Mood" - Harpo Marx - Harpo At Work
It's just as the song title describes, a whimsy lullaby style tune. Harpo was an incredible artist, it's a trip to just focus on his playing and not his goofy antics on the stage and screen.
6. "Rum and Coca Cola" - The Andrew Sisters - Rum and Coca Cola
Three girls that rose to fame through USO performances. They took a turn for the tropical and started laying down gems such as this.
7. "Kalise" - El Guincho - Kalise
This is the only modern artist on the list, glad to see someone breathing new life into the tropical genre. I saw him and his band perform at a cantina in the barrio of LA and got my mind totally blown.
8. "Cool, Cool Water" - The Beach Boys - Sunflower/Surf's Up
Ok, I know its not really tropicalia or exotica, but it certainly would not shock your ears to listen to this song along with the rest. The composition of this song is beautifully tripped out, complete with a long (maybe two-minute) lull of what sounds like ohms over top of waves crashing. It's a deep cut in the body of TBB's work, but it's certainly a treasure for me.
9. "Two Hearts In 3/4 Time" - The Avalanches - Since I Left You
I have to give it up for the first group who successfully created tropicalia infused electronic music (at least to my knowledge.) Their record "Since I Left You" is simply timeless.
Check out some of Vacationer's own tropical flavor below. The band goes on tour with Bombay Bicycle Club this fall.