The highly sought-after “summer jam” is an elusive thing, and can cover anything from sci-fi-flecked power-rock to feel-good hip-hop. In other words, crafting a summer jam isn’t an exact science—except when it is. The latest single from Milwaukee’s Winter Bear, “Take It Back,” seems like it was created in a lab staffed with fun-loving scientists wearing flip-flops, wacky sunglasses, and Hawaiian shirts. A “Be My Baby” drum intro? Check. A loopy guitar lick? Yep. “Hey!” and “sha-la-la” vocals? Of course. A shambling girl-group/surf-pop vibe that makes you want to ride the waves on top of a van, Teen Wolf-style? You better believe it.
The misleadingly named Winter Bear is the latest project of Erin Dorbin, formerly of Albany, New York’s Cave Weddings. After relocating to Milwaukee in 2009, Dorbin soon formed her new band and released a debut 7” on Chicago’s HoZac Records. That release gained plenty of glowing press from the Internets (including Pitchfork), and the group’s latest 7”—released last week on Detroit’s Selfish Agenda label—is likely to do the same. Before Dorbin and Winter Bear (which recently added Altos’ Amelinda Burich to its lineup) hit the road in August, they’ll play a show at Quarters Thursday, July 31. Until then, enjoy your new summer jam, Milwaukee.