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Three Fantastic: A 'Hot' Pop Apocalypse

In spite of its title, "Hot Summer Day," from the Houston indie-pop band Three Fantastic, isn't anyone's idea of a conventional summer song. From the opening sounds of tweeting birds to its squiggly guitar lick, the song sounds languid and breezy, like one of those half-remembered Sugar Ray hits from a decade ago. "Another glorious summer day," frontman Charles Peters sings. "It's only 163 degrees / and my skin has not yet begun to melt."

Come again? As the music revs up, the litany of environmental disasters continues: Trees burn to cinders and oceans boil; even the air conditioners are at loose ends. In other words, this is a warm-weather ode to global warming. Even the music takes unexpected turns, as a dueling-guitar interlude sounds as if it were lifted from a '70s prog-rock concept album about, say, the end of the planet.

Finally, hope emerges: A new ice age again dawns, and "candy bars become solid again / and everyone will dance and sing." Well, not quite everyone, but at least some of us will have a few songs left to hum after the eco-pocalypse.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Browne
David Browne is a contributing editor of Rolling Stone and the author of Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography of Sonic Youth and Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Spin and other outlets.