Week in Pop: Banny Grove, Beasteater, Mean Jolene

Sjimon Gompers

Welcome to the wonderful/incredible world of Louise Chicoine's Banny Grove; photographed by Nicky Giraffe.

Mean Jolene

Mean Jolene & the gang; press photo courtesy of the artists.

Mean Jolene & the gang; photographed by Ali Copeland.

Mean Jolene’s world premiere of the surf & shore polluter “Scumbag Summer” is a joyous & transgressive romp through the cruelest of summer. While we coast into fall, the Austin group lead by Jolie Cota Flink sends news of their upcoming album Salty available November 4 from Austin Town Hall Records while sharing a brilliant sparkling punk-pop gem to eulogize the best/worst summer(s) ever. “Scumbag Sumer” provides an honest take on the frenetic behaviors that follow the baddest/worse breakups that destroy your world where caution & conscious regard is tossed to the wind with devil-may-care abandon.

“Scumbag Summer” in aesthetic sounds like the Austin cool cats have been listening to the west coast’s own cast of big dreaming underachievers of great promise. Mean Jolene illustrates the most wanton summer of manic behavior, bad influences, and all kinds of out of control antics that revolve around self-actualizing yourself after your heart has been broken and/or generally disappointed. Jolie & her crew keep the energy & attitude honest but with a degree of self-aware humor where phases of our lives can be glanced upon with a level of learned awareness (coupled with a smile & a laugh). Mean Jolene drudges up the most awkward recollections of those fuzzy memories with a melodic shrug that chalks it all up to an extension of the grand narrative we all share in the great international collective of humanity.

Getting mean with Mean Jolene; press photo courtesy of the band.

Getting mean with Mean Jolene; photographed by Ali Copeland.

Jolie Cota Flink shared the following introduction “Scumbag Summer”:

“Scumbag Summer” endorses the extreme high of living in the whirlwind of a “slutty phase”, which, for me, happens either when I am having hypomania, or more commonly, after a bad breakup. Either way, it always goes hand-in-hand with grossly over-indulgent partying as a coping mechanism. This song is one of several on “Salty” that romanticizes hedonistic behavior. Here, it’s on-set by warm weather, feeling fly with a tan and embracing multiple months of carefree life, which summer tends to embody for me. The song’s overall tone is mischievous and, in a lighthearted and playful way, implies that there can be a darker side to summer; while it can be empowering to be a selfish degenerate after a long drawn out breakup, the subsequent unapologetic pursuit of all things pleasurable can lead to really bad habits and unhealthy relationships. Scumbag Summer attempts to narrate this period in a non-judgmental way.

Mean Jolene’s album Salty will be available November 4 from Austin Town Hall Records.

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