Best Summer Ever

Best Summer Ever

by Har Mar SuperstarHar Mar Superstar


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Released on Strokes singer Julian Casablancas' Cult Records, Har Mar Superstar's sixth studio album, 2016's Best Summer Ever, is one of his most stylistically diverse albums yet. This is due, at least in part, to Har Mar Superstar -- aka Sean Tillmann -- conceptualizing the album as a "compilation" showcasing his best tracks from 1950 to 1985. While listeners needn't dwell too long on the conceptual conceit, there are certainly more than a few impressive attempts at vintage-sounding recording. Tillmann nails the late-'50s organ and echo chamber-drenched balladry of artists like Sam Cooke on "How Did I Get Through the Day?" He also dives headlong into the fuzz-toned muscularity of '80s Glenn Danzig on the propulsive "Famous Last Words." He also goes full '70s Giorgio Moroder, replete with gratuitous sax solo, on the disco-ready "It Was Only Dancing (Sex)." Primarily, however, Tillmann sticks to what he's done best in the past as Har Mar Superstar, pumping out anthemic '70s and '80s-style pop and R&B. It's a distinctive sound that Casablancas also evinced on his 2009 debut, Phrazes for the Young. So it makes perfect sense that one of the best tracks on Best Summer Ever is Tillmann's exuberant, soulful take on the Casablancas original "Youth Without Love." The stylistic preference holds true even as he digs into an earnest rendition of Bobby Charles' mid-'60s ballad "I Hope." Synthy and effusive, the track has less in common with the earthy traditional country of Charles' original and more with the post-new wave, synth-based power rock of '80s artists like Lou Gramm and John Waite. While there is often an inherent tongue-in-cheek quality to Best Summer Ever, Tillmann never fails to take the music seriously. Even when he underlines the irony, as he does on the spoken word outro to "Haircut," you can't help but leave impressed by his highly resonant vocal chops and dedication to the process. Ultimately, with Best Summer Ever, Tillmann has made an album that works as both a time-traveling pop odyssey and a superb fake compilation.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/15/2016
Label: Cult Records
UPC: 5060454942177
catalogNumber: 23
Rank: 75621


  1. I Hope
  2. Youth Without Love
  3. Anybody's Game
  4. How Did I Get Through the Day?
  5. Haircut
  6. It Was Only Dancing (Sex)
  7. Don't Erase
  8. My Radiator
  9. Famous Last Words
  10. Confidence

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Har Mar Superstar   Primary Artist
Matt Sweeney   Guitar,Background Vocals
Dan Bechdolt   Trumpet
Gilbert Elorreaga   Trumpet
Ryan Olson   Synthesizer
Evan Jacobs   Keyboards
Ryan McMahon   Drums
Mark V. Gonzales   Trombone
Chris Bierden   Bass,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Bobby Charles   Composer
Matt Sweeney   Composer
Sean Tillmann   Composer
Brad Bell   Engineer
Julian Casablancas   Composer
Karen O   Composer
James Levy   Composer
Shawn Everett   Engineer,Instrumentation
Chris Tabron   Engineer
Warren Fu   Art Direction
Charles Godfrey   Engineer
Mark V. Gonzales   Horn Arrangements
Aaron Bastinelli   Engineer
Liz Hirsch   Layout

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