Imagine my surprise when, while opening an email of music to review for Overblown, I discovered one very familiar band name from my home/college town of Roanoke Virginia, Eternal Summers (Nicole Yun, Daniel Cundiff, Jonathan Woods). I had generally forgotten about them during my many moves around the country and suddenly all sorts of memories came washing back- a late afternoon or two in the Magic Twin building (an artist’s collective and practice space they founded in Virginia), nodding and swaying to a handful of their shows in the usually boring mountain town where we are from, and moving into a strangely gorgeous slum-apartment in Old Southwest where some of their members used to live. I have to admit I must have just been a fair weather fan of convenience and their vicinity though, because when I opened up their streaming-link for their fourth album, Gold and Stone the music was better than anything I vaguely remembered and proof that many things get better with age (my own musical appreciation included).
The trio of Eternal Summers must be a well-practiced bunch. The first listen gives an impression of a crew that remains tight until the very end (or at the very least an unholy mastery of the recording process). It is their stringent musical choreography that best achieves their clear vision for pop: easy and clear beats, catchy good feelings. Yun’s vocals shine crisply through all, especially during the album’s second track, “Together or Alone” where she wavers with seamless abandon between ladylike whispers and series near riot grrrl shout-outs. The title track is a charming example of an indie throwback with its Cranberries-esq intro (actually after my third listen, and a re-listen to the Cranberries classic “Dreams”, I would have to emphasize their influence to be heavy for the entirety of Gold and Stone) and thoroughly 90’s loyalty. Also, Eternal Summers maintains an ability to be steadfastly adorable, their video for “Come Alive” (check it out below) being a perfect example of their enjoyable whimsy.
Their most recent album, Gold and Stone, is a tricky example of a dream-pop implosion, taking the nearly overwrought, miasmic genre, and compressing it until its solidity is undeniable and entirely without the syrupy vocal parrotting that has been haunting indie music for years… It is embellished with all the right stuff as well, a little post-punk guitar wail, some feme garage rock scaffolding, everything needed to establish Gold and Stone as one of the better independent releases this summer. And, for all you lucky folks in the U.K, Eternal Summers will be touring through the fall with the equally invigorating group, Surfer Blood, don’t make the same listener mistake I did by taking them for granted, this is some music you will want to see live while the summer season comes to a close.
Gold and Stone was recorded at Resonate Studio in Austin, TX, and is available in the U.K September 25th via Kanine Records.