Beach House, Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand, have been playing music forever, each since childhood in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and France . Beach House formed in the summer, it was very late at night and there was a lot of heat. Their songs start simple and grow organically like tiny skeletons that multiply layers of necessary flesh. In the Beach House world, outside influences have been purely atmospheric. There are many groups and artists that have entranced the duo: Zombies, Brian Wilson, Neil Young, Big Star, Chris Bell, the list goes on; however, there isn’t one particular group or artist that Beach House admires more than another. By not forcing the way their songs come to fruition and by allowing all of their ideas to exist and play freely, an otherworldly space is created: organs, slide guitars, reverb, harmony, layers, accidents, echoes and melodies stand by themselves like the ones in everyone’s childhood memories.

Cloud Nothings is the brainchild of 18 year old Cleveland resident Dylan Baldi. Late in 2009, he started recording a bunch of catchy indie rock songs on his computer in the basement of his parent’s house. Dylan wasn’t so concerned with them being lo-fi. But since he only had his simple computer and a crappy microphone that’s the way they turned out. Almost immediately praise was bestowed upon young Dylan, and as new songs were unleashed, the online excitement only grew.

Dylan needed to take his songs on the road, so he formed a band with TJ Duke on bass, Jayson Gerycz on drums, and Joe Boyer on guitar. Their first show was in New York last December opening for Real Estate and Woods. Since then the band has played SXSW, toured with Wavves, and played shows with such bands as Titus Andronicus, Parts & Labor, Best Coast, and Kurt Vile. Their live shows have become super tight, displaying an intensity and precision rarely seen in bands of any age.

2010 has been very busy for Cloud Nothings. First there was the Turning On EP, then a seven inch single on Group Tightener and then another one on Old Flame. In August, True Panther released a Cloud Nothings single as well, and there is a super rare split cassette release on Bathetic. This fall, Carpark compiles the Turning On EP, the Group Tightener single, and two songs from the split cassette for a handy introductory compilation called simply Turning On.

Cloud Nothings are recording their first full length this summer in Baltimore with Chester Gwazda who has also recorded albums for folks like Dan Deacon and Future Islands. The album is planned for a winter 2011 release. It probably won’t be as lo-fi as his past stuff.The product of a move from South Carolina to Berkeley, CA and the subsequent extended separation from loved ones, Toro Y Moi’s third full-length, Anything in Return, puts Chaz Bundick right in the middle of the producer/songwriter dichotomy that his first two albums established. There’s a pervasive sense of peace with his tendency to dabble in both sides of the modern music-making spectrum, and he sounds comfortable engaging in intuitive pop production and putting forth the impression of unmediated id. The producer’s hand is prominent-not least in the sampled “yeah”s and “uh”s that give the album a hip-hop-indebted confidence-and many of the songs feature the 4/4 beats and deftly employed effects usually associated with house music. Tracks like “High Living” and “Day One” show a considerably Californian influence, their languid funk redolent of a West Coast temperament, and elsewhere-not least on lead single, “So Many Details”-the record plays with darker atmospheres than we’re used to hearing from Toro Y Moi. Sounding quite assured in what some may call this songwriter’s return to producer-hood, Anything in Return is Bundick uninhibited by issues of genre, an album that feels like the artist’s essence.

Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Chaz Bundick has been toying with various musical projects since early adolescence. Having spent his formative years playing in punk and indie rock acts, his protean Toro Y Moi project has been his vessel for further musical exploration since 2001. During his time spent studying graphic design at the University of South Carolina, Chaz became increasingly focused on his solo work, incorporating electronics and allowing a wider range of influences-French house, Brian Wilson’s pop, 80s R&B, and Stones Throw hip-hop-to show up in his music. By the time he graduated in spring 2009, Chaz had refined his sound to something all his own. Music journals across the board touted his hazy recordings as the sound of the summer, and he released his debut album, Causers of This in early 2010.

Since then, Bundick has proven himself to be not just a prolific musician, but a diverse one as well, letting each successive release broaden the scope of the Toro Y Moi oeuvre. The funky psych-pop of 2011’s Underneath the Pine evinced an artist who could create similar atmospheres even without the aid of source material and drum machines. His Freaking Out EP, a handful of singles and remixes, and a retrospective box-set plot points all along the producer/songwriter spectrum in which he’s worked since his debut, and Anything In Return is another exciting offering that shows he’s still not ready to settle into any one genre.