The Boys and Girls Club
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The Boys and Girls Club

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"Siriusly cool Summer sound"

The “Dog Days of Summer,” so-named because the ancients believed the brightness of the “Dog Star” Sirius made the Earth hotter, begin in early-July and end in mid-August. It’s mid-July now, and while the heatwave that gripped my corner of the Northeast recently has broken, it’s still pretty hot here. I wish I could say nothing beats the heat like “cool” music, but in my apartment that honor goes to a really powerful air-conditioning. That said, “cool” music can help. Even on the hottest days, a breezy tune can provide a palpable sense of relief, or at least make you shake your sweaty ass with abandon and momentarily forget you’re about to die from heat-stroke. In this post I intend to hip you to a couple of acts whose music might do one, if not both, of those things for you.

A nuclear reaction might be the least “cool” thing, literally and figuratively, on the planet. But The Boys and Girls Club, comprised of beatmaker Scott Thorough of Brooklyn, NY’s Nuclear Family, and vocalist Mike McGuire of Electronica act Short Stories, are pretty frosty despite their crew’s radioactive pedigree. I made my hope that the duo would release something this year known when I featured Nuk Fam a while back. That hope has been fulfilled, as their debut EP A Simple Night of Dancing With… drops July 27th on Pearly Gates Records! The boys’ sound is like a frozen smoothie made from the juices of soulful Pop (think Bobby Caldwell, Hall & Oates, and Sade), contemporary IDM (think Postal Service), emotive Indie-Pop (Mike reminds me of a more sensitive, and far sexier, Ben Gibbard), and thump-conscious Hip-Hop… so refreshing! These dudes are one of my favorite new acts of the year, and tracks like the seductive “Summer in the City” and their robo-funk cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” are perfect additions to your heatwave-relief playlist.

Also hailing from Brooklyn, Chin Chin is a collective of musicians whose music might-as-well come with a towelie, some drink-tickets, and a complimentary pineapple icy, because it’s the epitome of party-time fun, while simultaneously being utterly chill. Their self-titled debut, out now in Europe on Dialect Records, is a modern masterpiece of organic Dance-music that’ll make you wanna blow up some balloons, put out a table of snackys, and invite your friends over for a roof-top dance-party. I’m sure listeners will make comparisons to Jamiroquai and Plantlife. I wouldn’t be surprised myself if “Appetite” wound-up soundtracking the dance-number in a remake of Napolean Dynamite someday. But Jay Kay’s been too busy crashing Ferraris to make music, and I’m more inclined to liken Chin Chin to the Funk, Soul, and Jazz legends of the Disco-era than I would to Jack Splash. They’re so smooth that when I just visited their MySpace while playing “Appetite” and the same track played on their page, not only did it match up perfectly, the resultant blend actually sounded good!

Just writing this post makes me feel like turning the A/C off. Hopefully you’ll check these guys out, and they can help you save on “cooling” costs this Summer too.

-El Keter - Okayplayer


"A Simple Night of Dancing With..." EP (2007)



The Boys and Girls Club formed in the summer of 2002 as a collaborative effort between Scott (Scott Thorough, Nuclear Family) and Mike (Short Stories). We like rap, books and unspoken truths. Watch out. They've got a remix coming out on Trouble & Bass and a mixtape with Michna (Ghostly International) in the works.