Last month, Indie Buzz longtime favorites Aer released their sophomore self titled album. Personally, I felt that their 2012 debut album The Brightside was an instant classic. Aer has a unique sound which blends elements of hip-hop, reggae, and alternative together to create a new genre which they call “surf rap.” If you haven’t listened to The Brightside yet, you are certainly doing yourself a disservice. Aer’s signature sound is in their use of harmonizing vocals and acoustic guitar production. Imagine Kid Cudi as the lead singer of Sublime and you get Aer. In this time between the release of The Brightside, and this self titled album there’s been no shortage of music. In 2013 Aer released their Strangers EP, and Reeves (one half of the duo) released his mixtape Monkey Barz in the summer.

When it comes to this self titled album, Aer shows the same energy they did on the first record. The album is upbeat for the most part with a lot of head-knodic tracks. Some of the more memorable songs are the opening track and single “Spades, Clubs, and Diamonds” along with my personal favorite track “Stars”. Other notable tracks are “Sincerely”, “Whatever We Want” and “I’m With It.”

Although Aer has grown somewhat of a cult following in the college music scene, they still have yet to gain popularity in the hip-hop community, let alone the mainstream. Aer choose to stick to traditions on this record with the lack of any guest appearances, just like their first album. That choice is more understandable for a debut album, but I would have liked to see more growth on this sophomore record.

I like the mixture of electronic production along with the acoustic guitar use. Although Aer’s sound has progressed, the self titled album just isn’t a big enough step from The Brightside. It’s still a very solid record, so for that I rate Aer’s self titled album 3.5/5 flies.

Make sure you check out the videos for “She Says She Loves Me” and “Won’t Laugh” and look out for Aer on the Word of Mouth Tour coming to a city near you!

Aer is now available on iTunes!