An anthemic collection of songs from Virginia-based Eternal Summers. From power-pop to balladry Gold And Stone deals in jangly pop that tugs on the heartstrings. Their fourth studio album, it’s wrapped up in a sheen of crystalline production for a rich, radio-friendly vibe. Out on vinyl LP from Kanine.
LP £15.49 KR1301
LP on Kanine.
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- Gold and Stone by Eternal Summers
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Indie rock trio Eternal Summers recorded their first two albums close to home in Virginia, but ditched the Blue Ridge Mountains for Austin to record 2014’s more polished LP The Drop Beneath, stepping outside their comfort zone and enlisting Doug Gillard for production duties. Gillard had previously worked with the likes of Guided By Voices and Nada Surf, so it proved to be a wise move for the band.
While their early output exhibited a band attempting to find a voice, last year’s album sounded more fully realised, but not just because of its poised production: through the use of different genres and styles - from gritty punk to soothing dream-pop - they’d crafted a sound that’s pretty much difficult to revile. Having returned to Austin for their fourth LP, Gold And Stone, Eternal Summers continue in the same vein here.
Purportedly seeking to “target more lush and radiant textures”, they’ve definitely achieved it through the dense, layered instrumentals of drummer Daniel Cundiff and bassist Jonathan Woods. Vocalist and guitarist Nicole Yun’s soft refrains interplay nicely with the Woods’ vocal contributions on the woozy ‘Ebb Tide’, often sounding like The Field Mice’s Bobby Wratten’s sensitive musings.
It’s the contrast between Yun’s soothing voice and the grating distortion on tracks like opener ‘Unassigned’ that makes Gold And Stone pleasingly nuanced. Yun’s melodic riffs meander on lead single ‘Together Or Alone’, which excellently depicts a failed relationship, while ‘Stars You Named’ sees the band enter into more quieter, contemplative territory. Sometimes sounding like a 90s jangle pop record, particularly on closer ‘Bloom’ (think Gin Blossoms, The Cranberries et el) it’s often knowingly bright and optimistic, without becoming too cloying, in part thanks to the robust guitar lines on tracks like the sunny ‘Roses’, for example.
The band's attempt at defying genres is authentic and natural, but they’re at their best when they meld post-punk instrumentals with fragile vocals - exhibited wonderfully on the ridiculously catchy ‘Play Dead’. It seems that Eternal Summers have finally found their feet and created a sound that they should definitely stick with and hone rather than depart from on future ventures.
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