Reviews:: Summer Lawns First We Waited Then We Started

I’ve been in a musical lull these last few weeks. Other than the new Sean Lennon and the new Dosh record, I’ve not really found anything that I feel like writing about, so I’m going to revisit a band I should have talked about a long time ago.

Summer Lawns is a NY based band on one of our favorite Indie labels, Stunning Models on Display. The band delivers dark, mood induced pieces that fans of Low, Jeff Buckley, Velvet Underground (especially on the amazing track, Concrete and Wood) and even Radiohead (sorry, I know that is the reviewer’s kiss of death but Jeremy Linzee vocal patterns and range is similar to Thom’s) should enjoy.

Throughout their debut record, First We Waited… Then It Started, the band uses haunting strings, well placed percussion, and subtle crescendos to compliment Linzee’s voice. The end result is a slow evolution of well formed sounds. Unlike so many bands trying to play atmospheric numbers, rich in reverb and self-indulgence, Summer Lawns focuses on simply plugging the holes – often adding each instruments one at a time, and then removing the sounds before you feel comfortable with the combination, as opposed to trying to force more sounds and layers into every track. In areas where you expect the band to either overwhelm you with instruments or be left with an unfillable void, Laurel Birkey’s cello, Kieren Kelly’s drumming or Andrew Landry’s keyboards add just the right sound to the mix.

There are some tracks I'm not 100% into, mostly just the covers of This Little Light of Mine and Joy Division’s Transmission, which can be taken as very ambitious or simply a bad idea. Although I’m not a fan of these tracks, I respect the fact that even on their debut album, Summer Lawns isn’t afraid to branch out from the style they are comfortable with and take a risk that can result in greatness.

MP3:: Live Session on WOXY
MP3:: Smarts – Live on KEXP (new)
Check out the hype-machine for more tracks.

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