Our friends at Fort Knox Recordings have something new for the waning days of summer.

“Liftoff” is a new project made up of two members of Thunderball (Steve Raskin and Rob Myers), Johnna Raskin, and Steven Albert (a former “Edsel” band mate of Steve’s).  When I heard about this release from the label and gave “Summer’s Shown” (see Bandcamp widget below, but you can stream it and “Kool it Man” at Liftoff’s bandcamp site) a spin, I didn’t realize the Thunderball guys were involved and thought it was a new group.  I was quite surprised (and pleased) when I read the press release to find out Steve and Rob were behind this effort.

“Sunday Morning Airplay” displays a number of musical elements and does a good job incorporating these new sounds and molds them together with a hint of the established Thunderball sound to create an irresistibly fun, yet relaxing new sonic idea.  I really liked how the vocal harmonies came together on some of the tracks, most notably on “Summer’s Shown” and “EmilyMaryAliceKatherine.”  It was reminiscent of a Mamas and Papas, laid back, psychedelic 60’s folk-rock sound where I really got the feeling of driving down the highway with the top down in a convertible enjoying a beautiful summer day.

“Feathered Up” was one of my favorite tracks and I think it summarizes the new sound perfectly.  I really enjoyed Rob Myers’ guitar playing on that track as he produced a perfect lazy, summery, and bluesy sound to go along with the flowing strings and a great laid back beat.  It is so light and delicate, one would think they actually are a feather floating along in the summer breeze.  The other track that really stood out was “Marshmeadows.”  Featuring a light beat, some flowing synth, and light vocals throughout, it also has the lazy daydream feel to it. The highlight for me was the slowly building glitchy intro coupled with acoustic guitar.  From then it takes you on a trippy journey which can be enjoyed in any environment, but instantly conjures images of laying on a grassy hill looking up at the clouds.

There was also the very cool “Kool It Man” and “The Morning” which seem to incorporate the Thunderball sound than the more chill wave influenced ones, but still fit in nicely on this new effort.  “Kool It” really has a hypnotizing groove and tantalizing bass line and “The Morning” enjoys a bit of the international flavor with some bongos in the background and “spy movie” guitar style typical of Thunderball.

Unfortunately, you will have to wait until September to get your hands on this album, but by then it’ll provide a great reminder of how awesome your summer was.

Keep chillin’