There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Standout Track: “Every Summer,” which splices undertones of Americana into a pop sensibility that would not be out of place in an H&M advertisement. Guitars jangle over an unbungleable four-on-the-floor rhythm. Vocalist John Thornley extolls the simplicity of lumberjack living. “Every summer we go forth/Cutting timber from the north/…And we stay almost every day,” he sings.
Musical Motivation: According to bassist Jake Michael—a 21-year-old Rockville native who first met his bandmates at a party in Chinatown—the song’s origins are frostier than the title lets on. “That song came together with me and John. I wrote the riff; he did the rest of it,” he says. “We were practicing in this trailer in Walford. It was freezing cold; you could see your breath. John started singing about summer, and it all came together at once.”
Bang On: After playing a show with Georgia-based Cartel—stars of the MTV reality show Band in a Bubble—the band’s manager agreed to take U.S. Royalty under his wing. Since then, U.S. Royalty has acquired a lawyer and accompanied Cartel on a brief tour of Florida. They now have studio time booked with producer Matt Squire, who worked with Panic at the Disco back when its name included an extraneous exclamation point. The band’s success is all a bit sudden considering that, according to Michael’s estimates, U.S. Royalty has played no more than 14 live shows and written only 10 songs. “It just worked out really well. It just clicked right away,” says Michael. “The main thing right now is just to keep writing songs.