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Har Mar Superstar “Best Summer Ever,” Stream Album

Image courtesy of Har Mar Superstar's Facebook. Image by Rickett and Sones.

When first presented with the Best Summer Ever by Har Mar Superstar, I was immediately intrigued by the enigmatic appeal of the press release… “We decided to produce it like it was my greatest hits from 1950 to 1985.” Har Mar Superstar, aka Sean Tillmann, uses his latest album as an exploration of self through impassioned melodies and lyrical artisan.
True to the album vision, Tillmann frolics through decades like a true time lord of sound. It’s all there, ’50s bubblegum pop, ’60s soul, ’70s lo-fi, and ’80s synth-fueled ballads, all the while managing to leave his mark with lo-fi frequencies, layering synths, and his signature voice spun into each style of the tracks.

The album’s opening track is actually a cover of Bobby Charles, I Hope. It’s a hauntingly beautiful cover that showcases Tillmann’s vocal range over mystical synths and slow-tempo beat that is a wonderful take on the original.

Youth Without Love perfectly encapsulates those summer vibes that we all love… It’s catchy, infectious, and makes you want to go out with your friends and dance to those carefree nights. Written by Tillmann’s good friend, Julian Casablancas, the track was actually a demo that Casablancas had “laying around” and Tillmann loved and mutually decided to add to Best Summer Ever.

From the moment the beat drops, Anybody’s Game is another perfect anthem for a night out with friends. You know, the ones where you find yourself getting into a bit mischief, fun, and making mistakes that you may or may not remember the next day. The song makes you want to dance and sing along, ’80s Whitney Houston style because Tillmann’s voice is just as intoxicating as the beat.

How Did I Get Through The Day? is reminiscent of those soulful Motown crooners that I grew up listening to thanks to my parents. It’s a ’50s-style heartbreaker in modern-day time that exhibits Tillman’s chameleon tour de force while nailing the heartache of melancholia.

Haircut is co-written by art-pop queen Karen O. It starts off with an organ playing… Insert church vibes here. Then it goes right into it with Tillmann’s voice cutting into it like melted butter on toast, “summer in the cityyyyyyy, someone’s got you looking pretty. Got your new haircut, hairdo is enough for every city boy and every city girl to look you up as you get down.” The song is a perfect marriage of voices between Tillman and O, perfect harmonies on a fun track that is about different haircuts throughout the decades. My personal fave part are the shout outs of the haircuts like Crewcut! High top fade! Jerry curl! Comb-over! Mohawk!

It was Only Dancing (Sex) is serving ’80s realness. It immediately transports me to a nightclub dripping with fluorescent neon-lit signs and girls with teased bangs stiff from Aquanet hairspray, beefy guys in tight Guess jeans and muscle shirts, leather clad cool people, lots of lycra, and plenty of dancing. The track is filled with synth-tacular layers, a sexy af saxophone, and plenty of breathy “sexxx” being sung that would make even Britney Spears jealous.

Don’t Erase shows a more vulnerable side to Tillmann with this doleful ballad. It’s a perfect example of his chameleon artistry, he nails the artistry of the track… I can’t speak for everyone but it definitely had me feeling some type of way with the heartache in the song. Bravo Har Mar, bravo.

My Radiator is a low-fi wonder. It’s a short and sweet track about a radiator… Or is it?

Famous Last Words is brash and loud with a morbid appeal paired over The Clash-like guitar riffs and lo-fi frequencies. It’s macabre rock n roll at its best with lyrics like “mama I’m going away tonight. Tomorrow, yeah, tomorrow please tell me that you’ll be fine. Tomorrow at sunlight I won’t be here, oh mama please don’t cry.

Confidence is the closing track, so it makes sense that is a ballad that gives the listener another inside look into Tillmann’s mind. It’s a track that EVERY PERSON can relate to (all genders, not just male or female but everyone). The track is relatable and hits home with lyrics like “can’t rely on myself sometimes, sometimes, I know, I know. To be open, to be honest, though I’m trying hard, I fear that words my confidence is just skin deep.

Best Summer absolutely delivers on its namesake. It’s a soulful cocktail with plenty of fun beats, hypnotic dance rhythms, synth-fueled tracks, vulnerable ballads, and a twinge of raw melancholia. All in all, the summer party is on and we want to party with Har Mar Superstar.

 

Best Summer Ever is available via Cult Records now.

About Naomi (853 Articles)
<p>Most important thing to know about me is that I’m a melomaniac and shameless fangirl. I am addicted to concerts, they are my sanctuary and safe haven. When I’m on the front row on the barricade of a concert… I feel that I am truly home.<br /> I’m also a proud and happy vinyl crate-digger. Whether it’s searching for vinyl at flea markets, garage sales, vintage shops… I am a sucker for the crackling of a good record when the needle drops on a turntable.<br /> I am a true Cancer with Moon in Cancer and ascending in Pisces.<br /> Also, loves dogs (especially my son Elvis) and quality food porn pictures.<br /> Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook: @youthquakermimi</p>