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Making time with Beach Day

In early May, singer-guitarist Kimmy Drake and her surf-rock outfit Beach Day lent their mellow vibe to a Lenscrafters commercial with a psychedelic cover of the Drifters' 1962 doo-wop single "Up on the Roof."

The Hollywood trio's retro-rock interpretation is hardly its first brush with national exposure, not after a whirlwind year that saw its eponymous single "Beach Day" featured in a Victoria's Secret bikini promo, a record deal with Brooklyn-based Kanine Records and a U.S. tour that included stops in Los Angeles and Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood. So for a band Drake describes as "nonchalant," and which until last summer existed as a trio of unknowns billed as being from "Hollyweird, Florida" on its Facebook page, Beach Day has certainly been moving fast.

"Everything has happened in a rush for us," says Drake, speaking from her Hollywood home, which she shares with Beach Day bassist Natalie Smallish and drummer Skyler Black. "We're trying to modernize the '60s with our music. We're not trying to sound commercially viable, because to do that would lose the band's whole vibe and aesthetic, but obviously we are. It's pretty cool that someone would ask us Hollyweird freaks to do commercials for them."

And these "Hollyweird freaks" are culminating that year of success with the release of their debut album, "Trip Trap Attack," to be unveiled to the public during a listening party Saturday night at Radio-Active Records. (The official release is June 18.) The album includes tracks familiar to those who have followed Beach Day's slow rollout of 7-inch record singles, or who have watched their recent music video "Boys," filmed in black-and-white at Miami's Grand Central and showcasing Drake's girl-power vocals on a strobe-lit stage.

"That was so awesome. I feel like [the music video] is the most-intimate thing we've ever done, and I've been in a lot of bands," says Drake, whose summer tour will take Beach Day to Texas and Toronto. The tour also includes a June 27 date at Respectable Street, a June 28 at Miami's Gramps Bar and June 29 at the Hollywood Beach Theatre.

"Boys" may also be the most-uptempo song on the 11-track album, a surf-rock hybrid of aggressive punk influenced by the Ramones but also by 1960s girl groups such as the Ronettes and the Crystals. Motown-infused songs such as "Walking Down the Street" showcase Drake's "woah-oh" harmonies and her jangly guitar, while "Trip Trap Attack" is inspired by unfriendly experiences in other bands. ("I don't really want to talk about them," she says.)

But as much as Beach Day's music sounds indebted to the distant past, there is a youthful currency in the sound that Drake says contrasts with Hollywood's retro-architecture and kooky retirees.

"We love going to the beach on the Broadwalk to people-watch. I remember there was this old accordion player and an old keyboardist playing on the bandshell in the late afternoon, and there were a bunch of old people dancing below them. It was adorable to watch," Drake recalls. "I guess that's why we're playing so much and so fast. We're trying not to be retirees ourselves. We're fighting against it."

Beach Day's "Trip Trap Attack" listening party

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 1

Where: Radio-Active Records, 845 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

Cost: Free, includes pizza, beer and a chance to win a copy of the new album

Contact: 954-762-9488 or

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