Every summer, Cartoon Network’s nightly, older-skewing Adult Swim block, popular with college kids, stoners, and everyone in-between, releases a free sampler of exclusive music by up-and-comers. In the past, the project has featured singles from Best Coast, the Rapture, and others who have broken free of the indie underground and seen some commercial success.
It could be said, then, that it serves as an incubator for bands on the rise, albeit unintentionally. For the music fan who likes to claim they were a fan of a band before they got big, these samplers are always good to pay attention to. This year’s line-up is an especially exciting one. Garage Swim is heavy on the lo-fi, featuring bands like King Tuff, Thee Oh Sees, and Black Lips. Mississippi’s Bass Drum of Death’s “Dregs” is one stand-out, perfectly encapsulating the sampler’s concrete summer theme. Its fuzzy, far-away vocals hide underneath a droning guitar that marches towards the “Oh no”s and “Oh yeah”s of the chorus. It’s a unique brand of summer that goes along perfectly with the Adult Swim aesthetic – a little lackadaisical, a little too cool to care, and easily amused by the simplest and driest of jokes.
The song lives in the world of the sampler’s title; it’s the band’s version of a day at the beach, only trade in the surfboards for skateboards and the sand for the concrete of Dad’s garage. The sun might be shining, but Bass Drum of Death is wearing sunglasses, and they’re inside and out of the heat, anyway. “I keep moving ’til I find your love/oh no/oh yeah,” vocalist John Barrett sings, non-committal as his guitar trails off underwater to join the rest of his garage swimmers.
You can download the entire free sampler from Adult Swim (and co-sponsor Dr. Pepper) here.