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Review: Eternal Summers ‘The Drop Beneath’

Mar 6, 2014

Back in January, I told you about Eternal Summers’ track “Gouge,” a single off their at-the-time upcoming LP “The Drop Beneath.” To put it briefly, it got me excited about the album and, perks of being a wallflower writing for this site, I got my hands on a pre-release copy of the album and really dug my teeth in. “The Drop Beneath” came out on Tuesday, so now the time is ripe for me to tell you all about it.

The record, which was funded by a highly successful crowdfunding campaign and features production by Doug Gillard of Guided by Voices and Nada Surf, really struck a chord with me. I guess I have a thing for moody, reverb-laden indie rock—and there’s lots of it these days: Grizzly Bear, DIIV, We Are Trees, The Horrors, Lotus Plaza. As I would find out, Eternal Summers have a way of standing out from the crowd.

As the album makes its way from the shoegazing opener “100” to the reserved pop-in-disguise of “Not For This One” to the ballad of a penultimate track, “Until the Day I Have Won,” the record feels exceedingly human and affecting. The lyrics are often brooding, but melancholy has never been so catchy. You quickly find yourself pining along with vocalist Nicole Yun: “I miss you, I miss you, I miss you so.” There’s a sort of revelry in the sheer intensity of emotion here, and it’s contagious.

I find myself putting my foot in my mouth listing all those bands earlier. “The Drop Beneath” is arguably closer to early U2 than it is to those contemporaries, namely because of its low barrier to entry: I was able to really latch onto the record and felt each track resonate on the first or second listen. I don’t always have time to give an album the five or ten listens it might take to get it, but that wasn’t a problem here. When my album queue is growing bigger by the day but I can’t put this one down, that’s got to mean something.

Listening all the way through, the album breathes: periods of high energy are punctuated and accented by relaxed breaks (“Keep Me Away,” “Not For This One,” “Until the Day I Have Won”). The result is a collection of songs which feel carefully and thoughtfully chosen and ordered, not just a collection of hits and misses. “The Drop Beneath” is a cohesive record composed of artful, moody pop songs, and it seems to evolve with each listen. Some songs seem to grow darker as you pick up more lyrics, others grow somehow catchier.

If you’re looking for some good tunes to sing in the shower on a rainy day, do yourself a favor and go pick up “The Drop Beneath” on iTunesAmazon, or straight from Kanine Records.

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