We’re already over halfway through 2011. I wanted to highlight a few fine records I’ve gotten into so far. I wrote up a list of my favorite Iowa City releases for Little Village Magazine already, so I won’t be rehashing that, I’ll just single out some stellar releases and unnecessarily pigeon-hole and qualify them cause, why not?

Peaking Lights
Not Not Fun

Madison, Wisconsin’s Peaking Lights became a reggae band so gradually, I hardly even noticed. But now that they make the coolest, lemonade-sippin’, flip-flop-wearing drone music in the Western Hemisphere, you just have to have this thing spinning when things get chill, the sun starts going down and you begin to ironically roast vegan marshmallows–yeah I laid it on thick there, sorry.In all sincerity, 936, the husband-and-wife duo’s sophomore full-length, is as beautiful as the irony laced description above.
Indra Dunis’ captivating, understated lilt shines throughout with Aaron Coyes’ subtle, slinky guitar work playing nicely along. The duo has also upped their beat production–with the help of Iowa City’s own Luke Tweedy and Flat Black Studios, making deeper and more complex beds and loops which just adds more nuance to the duo’s strong interplay.
After the group’s debut LP, Imaginary Falcons, I thought up was their only trajectory, but Peaking Lights stepped up their game so hard and so quickly, I actually didn’t like 936 on the first few listens. These two freaking lapped me, at least a couple times. But you should get on this quickly, while there’s still some summer left to enjoy it in.

Runner-up: anything by Curren$y