Sundae Crush are a dream pop band based in Seattle, Washington, featuring Jena Pyle, Izzi Vasquez, Jesse Botello and Alex Naughton. Their first EP, Crushed, came out last month via United Worker’s Party, U.S.A., a five-song selection that lives up to their saccharine name. More daydream pop than dream pop, the songs have a light and gauzy vibe that never fully transcends reality, the whole thing remaining personal and grounded despite the escapist tendencies.

Tracks like ‘Chat Room Messages’ and ‘Ice Cream Run’ are anthems for bedroom kids of our generation, finding solace not in vast soundscapes or grand adventure, but rather TV and the internet. Which isn’t to say the whole thing isn’t beautiful―the half-paced, blissed-out ‘Swept’ is like lying in the bathtub and imagining you’re bobbing down some lukewarm river, and the pastel-coloured heart-ache of ‘Dating Game 3000’ and ‘Contestant’ provide some much needed comfort for your worried mind.

 To celebrate the release, the band kindly agreed to take part in our Mystery Mix series―where we give them a series of random prompts they must use to create a mini playlist. Tackled as a quartet, the result is as interesting and wide ranging a selection of songs you are likely to see, and potentially the only time Smash Mouth will grace the Various Small Flames page.


Teamwork (Makes the Dream Work)

by Sundae Crush

Song with animal in the name

Battles – Inchworm

Izzi: A friend of mine said this whole album sounds like unicorns doin’ it, which I think is totally accurate. This song makes me feel simultaneously like skipping merrily down the lane, and aggressively breaking shit. It’s perfect.

Song that reminds you of your favourite book

Vashti Bunyan – Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind

Jena: My favorite book is Things I’ve Learned in My Life So Far by Stefan Sagmiester and I feel like this is a good song to sum it all up.

Song with a name in it

The Allman Brothers – Jessica

Jesse: Although there are no lyrics to this song you can almost picture who The Allman Brothers are describing through the instrumentation. This is also the name of my childhood crush. I taught myself how to play the main guitar riff on my bass and it has turned into my favorite song to play during sound check.

Song that reminds you of being somewhere awful

Smash Mouth – I’m a Believer

Izzi: When Jena and I were driving from Texas to Washington, we were in the middle of nowhere southern California in the summer during the draught. We drove through the desert for what seemed like a thousand hours. It was so hot and hellish and we were starting to go insane so we covered this song using a portable amp, an omnichord, and a maraca while I was driving. For sanity’s sake, and because we desperately wanted to believe that we were eventually gonna hit the coast, this was a good song choice at the time.

Jena: I totally back this. Also… this was totally a Monkees song first and I love them. But I was def thinking of Smash Mouth when we did this in the car.

Favorite live experience

Thundercat – Friend Zone

Jesse: There are way too many shows that I’ve been too and I cannot pinpoint my favorite one, but the most recent show I’ve been to is when I saw Thundercat a couple weeks back. Thundercat is a major influence on my song writing and bass playing. This was my favorite song from his set that night.

Song for the apocalypse

In Down Bad by Lil B. // REM – It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Alex: In an apocalypse we might listen to In Down Bad by Lil B. “Shots at the court like basketball”. Or maybe we could listen to REM – It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Song for the sunniest day of the year

Soak Up the Sun – Sheryl Crow

We talk about this song a lot, so this was an automatic pick. 🙂


Remember, Crushed is out now via United Worker’s Party, USA, and you can snag a copy on CD and cassette from Bandcamp. Once you’ve done that, you can find the previous entries in the Mystery Mini Mix series here, and browse our Mixtapes section to find a playlist for every occasion.

Artwork by Ariel Davis