Fair weather destinations are all well and good for the vacationing flock. But to locals…and even more so to the children of locals…the allure of their tiny hometown’s summer shacks is certainly a little less obvious. Of course this is an assumption of sorts, but one I’m willing to make after listening to the Martha’s Vineyard bred band The Billionaires, and their debut Really Real For Forever (Too Soon). For one, Really Real reeks of lyrical odes to the suffocating nature of small town boredoms and the vices they spawn. Album opener “The End of Summer Song” alludes to putting off the inevitable…drunken, inebriated fun in the summer sun being the suitable substitute for growing up and getting on. Admits Tim Laursen, one of the band’s many singers: “We have grown up together playing music but mostly being a part of a large creative group of friends, a sometimes very drunk, loving, angry, and sexy group of people.” Then there is that name of theirs. Think a bunch of working class kids care for the oxford shirt/khaki pants/boat shoe enthusiasts that raid their summer colony every year? Really Real suggests not.
And yet, The Billionaires are hardly worthy of any kind of dismissal…at least not on the grounds of being young, obnoxious, and out of touch, anyway. In fact, Really Real plays like just that: a really, real and mature piece of pop craft. Recalling the upbeat aesthetic of bands like I’m From Barcelona, Mates of State, and the New Pornographers, The Billionaires’ fashion music that is plenty whistle worthy…just the kind of thing one might expect from a band that calls a summer enclave in the middle of the Atlantic home. In the end, The Billionaires spark a certain kind of imagination. Air-wading in the surf that’s not there, sifting oh so imaginary grains of sand through the toes…Really Real For Forever plays like the sort of summer time allusion most folks could use right about now. So if these icy February afternoons got you down, look to The Billionaires to provide the perfect kind of distraction. Now who’s having a hard time getting on? – David Pitz