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“Sugar Sugar Summertime” by America’s Sweetheart

A ripcord-like guitar riff. A wave of harmonies. A catchy tune indeed. The new single “Sugar Sugar Summertime”, just as its name suggests, is sweet and beach approved. With a tinge of nostalgia and a speck of modern music thrown in, the artists behind the hit, America’s Sweetheart give props to their beloved Jersey City beachfront and summer bliss. Even if you’re not enjoying the sun rays at the moment, “Sugar Sugar Summertime” transports you to the feelings of endless summer and a timeless escape. 

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America’s Sweetheart, comprised of singers Valerie German and Anastasia Kinsella, immediately create a rapport with the listener in this surf rock / pop tune. Embedded into the song’s lush musical bedrock is a spirited love for the innocence and carefree attitude of summer vacation. When you think you’re listening to the Runaways or Blondie or The Go Gos, or all of the above, you’re reminded that these female voices blended together is pure alchemy. I remember, I remember you, friends forever, the duo sings. Later in the song there is a male voice. If you close your eyes and listen, between the dewy bass groove and crunchy guitar, the rhythms are almost like riding a Schwinn banana-seat bicycle through the village cobblestone. And if you keep listening, even closer, you might find yourself experiencing the Kodachrome soundtrack that begs to be heard. 

Sewn within the song, too, is a rebelliousness. It’s not quite punk, but almost a rockabilly meets surf rock tone. When German and Kinsella sing, they have this moxie about them. They are completely fearless and fierce, with a pink icing on top. Maybe in another lifetime or song, they are kinder, gentler, but in “Sugar Sugar Summertime” they are relentlessly fun and free. Their blended vocals elevate not only the pitter-patter beat but accentuate the guitars and bass lines even more so. It’s fresh. It’s exciting. It’s as real as it gets. 

When you’re done, and you won’t be, bopping your head to the tones, you can easily connect with the quirky emotion and joyfulness. This song, for as light-hearted as it is, is exceptionally fun. Like eating ice cream, how can anyone not smile while listening to this whimsical track? I think America’s Sweethearts take their music seriously, and in their nod to their Garden State roots, they have created a slice of Americana (pop music that is) with “Sugar Sugar Summertime”. I found myself chasing those echoes, wanting to experience and stay for a while, basking in its rays. 

Accompanying the song is the exuberant music video centered on the quaint seaside town of Jersey City. The group’s love for this town, its people, it’s memories and it’s solid array of ‘mom and pop restaurants’ cascades like a carousel of memories. Like something out of a picture book or postcard collection, even the sheen or the filter on the film is fit to be framed. It’s a perfect companion medium. I think this visual connection is equally emotional – triggering a wave of nostalgia. 

Mindy McCall



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