This year has been richer for pop than any in a while; even the bad records seem more interesting. That means a lot of good music that I haven't been able to get into in this space. Therefore, It's a Hit is inaugurating a Summer of Speed Rounds. Let's begin with some indie 7-inches, shall we?
Girls to the front: Tender Trap's "Do You Want a Boyfriend?"/"The Sum and the Difference" (Slumberland) brings twee-indie godmother Amelia Fletcher and bassist Rob Pursey (ex–Talulah Gosh and Heavenly) back to the fore in rumbling form. The call-and-response A-side asks, "Does he have to meet you/Walking in the rain/Does he have to like the/Jesus and Mary Chain," while the B goes for gleeful speed. Best Coast's Make You Mine EP (Group Tightener) isn't Bethany Cosentino's newest 7-inch, but its bracing, heartfelt snarl through the Beach Boys' "In My Room," the irresistible mope of the fuzzy "Over the Ocean," and the brief, garbled, Buddy Holly–ish "Make You Mine" are as winning as her other stuff. Dum Dum Girls' "Jail (La La)" you probably know, but I haven't gotten tired of it yet, and their (her) Record Store Day special, "Pay for Me" (both Sub Pop), opens with a grungy riff before going into the tuneful-static garage-pop you'd expect.
Math and Physics Club have really stepped things up. "Jimmy Had a Polaroid"/"The Sound of Snow" (Matinée) brings them from okay-ish Belle & Sebastian homage to excellent Belle & Sebastian homage, and the B-side is as good as anything on the album. Please make "We're So DIY!" the next single. For Ex-Lovers Only named themselves after a song by early-'90s D.C. twee-poppers Black Tambourine, which tells you most of what you need to know. On their self-titled three-song EP (Magic Marker), "Coffin" is the deadpan guitar raver; "Lover's Heart" the moony, shimmering one; and "Scraps (Mono)" an acoustic guitar/tambourine campfire sing-along, and the whole thing lasts an eminently replayable 5:13.
Acoustic guitars dominate Field Music's "Them That Do Nothing" (Memphis Industries) as well, but unlike all the shambling above, this is a laid-back brick of a song that unapologetically evokes primo '70s British rock without making a big deal out of it: dry, muscular, sneaky. Speaking of looking back, Ducktails' "Apple Walk"/"Mirror Image" (Shdwply) is supposed to be something called "glo-fi" but just sounds like a couple of pretty, textured guitar instrumentals to me. Plus ça change, I guess.