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Standout Track: “Backyard Dream Killer,” a sloppy but scorching indie-rock tune with a conscious debt to slacker legend Dinosaur Jr. Singer/guitarist Daniel Saperstein, 21, yelps and coughs while strumming campfire chords through a blown-out amplifier. The rhythm section—drummer Emma Baker, 20, and bassist Jon Hand, 26—play hard and hope for the best. Somehow, they all hit the last note at the same time.

Musical Motivation: The tragedy of lost innocence. “It’s about how easy it is to be in your own world one minute and then, [the next] minute, everybody is judging you,” explains Saperstein, likening the song’s sentiment to the moment when a third grader starts to get self-conscious about spazzing out in a pile of leaves. In defiance of adulthood, Sad Bones keep the music primitive and passionate. “I think our priority is playing as loud as possible,” says Saperstein. “We’re way more about, I don’t know, feelin’ it.”

School Daze: The band started in 2008, but the songwriting process has crawled because Saperstein and Baker, who grew up in D.C., are both away at college. Practices, recording sessions, and gigs are all crammed in during vacation. But by the end of the summer, they hope to have committed 13 songs to tape. If they don’t get distracted, that is. “Hanging out takes priority over banging it out,” says Saperstein.