Jeff Burke is one of my favorite songwriters in punk rock. I've loved just about everything he's ever been involved with. The Marked Men, Radioactivity, Potential Johns, Novice and Lost Balloons. Lost Ballons is the band he formed with Yusuke Okada (From the Japanese band Suspicious Beasts, but who was also in a great band called Blotto for a while). Their first self titled album came out in 2015 on Alien Snatch records out of Germany. For their follow up, they've hooked up with long time Jeff Burke record pushers, Dirtnap.
Now, while I want to say upfront that I do really like Hey Summer, it is the least Jeff Burke sounding record he's ever recorded. Yes, the hooks are there. Yes, you can hear echoes of the song structures and interesting chord progressions that he's championed in his other projects. But these Lost Balloons songs are, for the most part, so much mellower and quieter than what Burke is usually known for. Even compared to the last Lost Balloons record, this is a pretty big swing to a new direction.
Hey Summer is very much a lazy, summertime pop album. The sort of thing that would be really nice to listen to while kicking back in a hammock with a glass of lemonade. The jangly guitar lines and relaxed vocals showcase a side of Burke's pop sensibilities that have only been hinted at in the past. All of that said, I don't like it as much as his faster, louder work. I love it as a side project, but I would be bummed if he went this direction permanently. Still, it's a nice change of pace when you want to have something a bit more chilled out to listen to.
Lost Balloons - Hey Summer: