For Your Consideration: Summer Babes

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For Your Consideration is a semi-regular feature on Guerrilla Candy that looks at the lesser-knowns of the local music community

Summer Babes: Softcore pop for goodlooking people. Photo by Greg Stonebraker

Summer Babes – Crack Habit

Summer Babes describe themselves as “Softcore pop for goodlooking people” in their brief and succinct Twitter bio. This is a pretty accurate description for the band fronted by Jeff Albertson of The Lights (other band members include Matt Stegner on guitar, keyboardist Jessica Parsons, bassist Henry Rose and drummer Ryan Reed Creason), but it leaves out one vital part of the  band’s sound: fun.

Formed in the summer of 2009, the band churns out pop-rock songs that are quick, simple and just plain good old fashioned fun. Go ahead and give “Crack Habit” a listen above to hear what I’m talking about. It’s like a 1960s summer beach blanket party for your ears.

Summer Babes’ eight-track debut EP, called Babe Summer (see what they did there?), is chock full of catchy, garagey, jangly, poppy goodness. You can listen to the entire thing over at the band’s Bandcamp page and while listening be sure to spend some time with their cover of Unnatural Helpers’ “Sunshine/Pretty Girls.” The slowed down tempo gives the dirty, raw punk song a nice splash of summery sunlight with an extra coating of keys that gives the song some Summer Babes flair while sticking to the spirit of the original.

I caught up with Albertson earlier this week and asked him about the decision to cover Unnatural Helpers. Here’s what he had to say.

“I’ve been a huge fan of the Unnatural Helpers for as long as I can remember. One of the first punk rock basement shows I saw after moving to Seattle over 13 years ago was Dean’s (Whitmore, of Unnatural Helpers) old band Double Fudge. I loved that he wrote quick and super catchy punk rock songs.

I started Summer Babes with the idea of making pop music with the focus being on having as much fun as possible and not taking things too serious. I heard “Sunshine/Pretty Girls” when the Helpers put it out on a 7″ single and as soon as I heard it I knew it would be a fun song to cover. We started playing it live before the Helpers had released it on an album. Plus, it fit the motif of the band: Summer and Sunshine.

It’s kind of a tribute to the way bands in the 60s would often cover each others’ songs at the peak of their popularity. The Kingsmen’s version of “Louie Louie” is a timeless classic, but I’ve always loved the Sonics’ version too.”

You can see Summer Babes Saturday night when the perform at the Tractor Tavern with Guerrilla Candy favorites the Redwood Plan and SHIM ($8, 9 p.m.)

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 14 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, and others and was the founder and editor of defunct music site Ear Candy.