There are countless Milwaukee summer traditions: festivals, block parties, complaining about the heat even though we just suffered through 8,000 months of winter. For the past three years, Milwaukee tropical-pop outfit L’Resorts has given the city yet another summer tradition in the form of a new album. The group’s latest offering, Explorers, was released in late May. It’s fantastic.
Explorers finds Vinnie Kircher (Jaill) and Martha Cannon (Lady Cannon) not only perfecting L’Resorts’ breezy, exotica-tinged sound (if you’re in a marimba mood, you’re in the right place), but their own back-and-forth banter as well. “If you’re keeping him, can you tell me why? / All your stories end that he’s not so bright,” a miffed Kircher sings in opener “Keeping Him.” Cannon’s reply? “I don’t ever have to wonder who is the smartest.” Needless to say, it’s unlikely that the song is about pet ownership.
Jealously rears its head throughout the record. “Why you gotta go through my phone? / Why you gotta stomp and get mad?” Cannon defiantly asks on the stellar title track. “Change isn’t something you adore / But I need to for sure, and there’s nothing that slows me.” Later, in the chorus, she puts it even more plainly: “Your jealousy bores me.”
Beyond Kircher and Cannon’s self-described “midwestern Sonny and Cher” dynamic, Explorers offers a wealth of musical pleasures. Tracks like “Blasting Off” and “Remember” bubble and fizz, while “I’m So Mean” and “Rolling On” languidly stretch their limbs in the warm summer breeze. “Pieces Of My Love” ends things on an upbeat and peppy note with both singers’ voices blending together like an umbrella-spiked cocktail.
L’Resorts first landed on Milwaukee shores in the summer of 2019 with a self-titled debut; a follow-up, Bad Love, arrived the next summer, while Vacation arrived the next. (Beyond a few Christmas singles, only 2020’s Sad Happens was released in a non-summer month.) Explorers tones down some of the group’s more “tropical” tendencies, but doubles down on thematic issues like jilted love, jealously, and fidelity. Those are heavy topics, but it’s a testament to Kircher and Cannon’s talents that they go down so smoothly.
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