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“I’ve never thought too hard about what our albums should sound like before they are written. I just trust instinct to lead the way.” That is the philosphy of Nicole Yun of Roanoke, Virginia based noise pop, power rock trio Eternal Summers. And if you haven’t heard of Eternal Summers, you’ll have a lot of catching up to do. On June 2, 2015, they will release their fourth full-length album “Gold and Stone” due out on their longtime label, Brooklyn based indie, Kanine Records.
Having formed in 2009, Eternal Summers has now been operating as the trio of Nicole Yun, Daniel Cundiff and Jonathan Woods longer then they did as a duo without Jonathan. Long gone are the days of the Roanoke based collective known as the Magic Twig Community that saw the handful of like-minded indie artists working together; but what has grown in place is a band that stands on its own, in the words of All Music, “The kind that other bands will look to for inspiration 20 years later.”
With several previous releases, there has already been a lot said about Eternal Summers music. From the crafty minimalism on their debut Silver, to the dream punk sheen on 2012’s breakout Correct Behavior, to the guitar driven power on The Drop Beneath, the evolution of Eternal Summers marks a band that embraces both anthemic rock and bittersweet ballads - a band that is grounded in jangle pop but with an added depth that rewards on repeated listens.
Last year’s The Drop Beneath marked Eternal Summers first full length created entirely outside Virginia and as Pitchfork noted: “The Drop Beneath is the most pristine sounding thing that Eternal Summers have ever recorded” and “indulges their more anthemic side, and the results are solid.” According to Paste Magazine, “Their brand of loose-hanging, guitar driven, hook-filled pop has tightened into a fist.”
For Gold and Stone, Eternal Summers returned to the site of last year’s well-received The Drop Beneath, Resonate Studios in Austin, TX and back into the very adept hands of engineer and mixer Louie Lino to create an album that ventured beyond the pop immediacy of their previous albums. Nicole says, “On this self-produced album, we wanted to target more lush and radiant textures, some classic rock riffs, some jazzier elements and some full-on punk snarl.”
Nicole isn’t exactly sure how influence happens, “Whether it creeps in or just bashes you on the head, I think we made it a point to be as open as possible. We love to listen to bands and think about how their albums came together. We were listening to a lot of Blur, early Radiohead, And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Echo and the Bunnymen, Ryan Adams, Lush, Dinosaur Jr., Cleaners from Venus and Stereolab in the van on tour before writing Gold and Stone.” You’ll have to give Gold and Stone a spin to see whether you can pick out those influences or even find traces of the early Eternal Summers “dream-punk,” but regardless, it’s evident Eternal Summers shall not fade.
Eternal Summers never ending tour cycle has seen them play with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Surfer Blood, The Presidents of the United States of America, Cheatahs, We are Scientists, Nada Surf, amongst others. They look forward to presenting Gold and Stone on tour throughout 2015.
Roanoke, Virginia based Nicole Yun, Daniel Cundiff, and Jonathan Woods separate themselves from the genres and comparisons of 2012's Correct Behavior throughout The Drop Beneath. No longer is the band still learning how best to cause chaos, rather Eternal Summers is now pushing their music to new limits with no fear of repercussions or of fitting in.
With production by Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices, Nada Surf) and mixing by Louie Lino (Nada Surf), The Drop Beneath brings out the bands 90's influences such as the early guitar pop days of Radiohead, Blur, Teenage Fanclub, Lush and the early alt-rock of Foo Fighters. The band met Gillard while touring with Nada Surf, which is howThe Drop Beneath took shape. "We had been talking about having a producer that would be more hands on and work in the studio, more closely with the band. [Meeting Doug] was the genesis of everything leading up to the album." It also led the band to record in Austin. "We escaped the end of winter and spent time in the warmer weather down South. We wouldn't be bothered in Austin and could focus like we wanted. There was a cave close by and we would go in there to be in total blackness."
Stepping out of the blackness resulted in songs like "Gouge" and "Never Enough," which showcase the upbeat jangly pop the band is known for, "A Burial," a powerful alt-rock monster best heard pumping through your car stereo while the sweetness of "Keep My Away" suggests the influences of 90's Brit Pop balladry. The Drop Beneath out March 4th (Kanine Records) offers a range of songs more mature and catchier than ever.