By: Kyle DiRaddo

Nice hat, Shanti.

Normal summertime vibes have been pretty hard to come by this year.  Sure, there have been cookouts and backyard hangs and concert streams to help break up the monotony of quarantine, but we all know it isn’t the same.  Nothing says summer like a sweaty parking lot in the middle of who-knows-where and, if you’re anything like me, going down the shore (for all my Philly peeps).  If a trip to the beach simply isn’t in the cards for you, Charlottesville, Virginia’s Kendall Street Company has got you covered with their latest studio album entitled The Nautical Aquatical.

If you didn’t pick up on it from the title, the album is a six-song offering all based around the ocean.  With tracks with names like “Stephen the Manly Clam”, “Stanley Birdogmouth (He’s an Oyster!)” and “Island Time (Intermission Music)”, I was a little skeptical going in, but was pleasantly surprised to find an upbeat, bouncy, and oftentimes tongue-in-cheek album that never it takes itself too seriously without sacrificing musicianship.  There is a joy that comes through in their tunes that is very endearing and you can almost hear them smiling throughout the entire thing.

Reminding me a little bit of some early work by The Heavy Pets, the Company gives you a good idea of what the album is going to be right out of the gate with the opening track “Shanti the Dolphin”.  Some stellar saxophone work and really tight female backup vocals help augment a song whose lyrics talk about a happy dolphin who is bad with money.  I’m a guy who appreciates a little humor in his music so when the lines “Shanti out there keeping it real/Shanti the Dolphin schemes with Ernie the Eel/Money he blew it all on tail/The sweet sweet money now his house is for sale” hit my ears I couldn’t help but laugh.  “Blew it all on tail”…that’s just good stuff.

The Nautical Aquatical is an album that you’re going to throw on and bob your head, have a giggle, and put down a few beers with your pals while you’re all hanging out responsibly on the pontoon boat you have docked in your backyard.  If you’re lucky enough to find yourself down the shore this summer, this is definitely one I would recommend incorporating into your playlist.

You can hear the album on Spotify and once you like what you hear, head over to you check out the other offerings Kendall Street Company has to offer.  And before you ask; yes, they sing about stuff other than the ocean.