Summer Flake
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Summer Flake

Melbourne, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Melbourne, Australia | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Rock




"Summer Flake EP"

Introducing: Summer Flake

Summer Flake is mellowed-out garage-rock courtesy of Stephanie Crase. Stephanie is from Adelaide [Australia] and has been in a lot of bands. Some of those include Batrider, Hit The Jackpot and No Through Road. She released her debut self-titled EP earlier this week, and it’s available as a free download via her Bandcamp. - All Tomorrow Music

"Summer Flake On The River"

Summer Flake – ‘On the River’ – mp3

Stephanie Crase’s first solo release and self-titled ep is ‘Summer Flake’. I’ve posted ‘On the River’ from this release, which you can download for free here. ‘The Summer Flake’ is a straight forward DIY (shudder at that term, but it’s accurate) recording of lo-fi indie rock tunes. So if your feeling like getting blue with some downer fuzz, this might be your bag. I’m rarely in that mood being that I left my angst in high school, despite what my mum says, but there is something catchy about this ep and it’s crept up on me a few times following Sui Zhen in my library. A real slow burner that is def worth a listen.

Facebook for Steph here – - Who The Hell

"Summer Flake"

If you live in Adelaide, you may have met Summer Flake, though you might not be aware of it.
Stephanie Crase (Batrider, Hit the Jackpot) has scampered out of the indie-grunge scene to serve up some sunshiney lo-fi on her first solo release, a self-titled EP.
Closer to her work with Adelaide’s folk-underground super-group Fair Maiden, Summer Flake EP is a dozy trip through a psyched out meadow. Or perhaps a lazy morning lounging on a beach.
Wherever it is, it’s calm and cozy, and Summer Flake is kind enough to let you have a holiday there.
Inside Out kicks off the album with drawling, sweet vocals. She’s slow and steady, bringing this to life with a lullaby lull that is utterly enchanting.
The scene is set for this dreamy, no-fuss taster of Summer Flake’s charms.
On the River is a gentle, minor-laden ditty that quietly prods your heart-strings.
No More appeals to 60s rock ‘n’ roll sympathies with soft lady harmonies and a slow-bop rhythm, all offset perfectly by a glitchy guitar solo.
Wedding March was written for Hit The Jackpot founding members Kynan and Jessica Lawlor (literally for their wedding), and is exactly the tune you’d expect to soundtrack the union of local garage-punk royalty.
Even though there are only six songs, they’re all complete and wonderful. With ten years’ experience in the industry, it’s no surprise Summer Flake has brought to the turntable a genre-perfect spread of songs.
Summer Flake has popped her EP up for free download on her Bandcamp page, and look out for her name around August – rumour has it there will be some shows.
Stand-out tracks: Inside Out and No More
Summary: A sun-dappled lazy day EP, perfect for the coming colder weather. It’s twenty lovely minutes, free, and local. What more could you ask for? - Luna Magazine

"Summer Flake Interview"

Steph Crase currently plays in Adelaide bands Fair Maiden and Avant Gardeners and is a previous member of bands as diverse as Batrider, Birth Glow, Hit the Jackpot and No Through Road. She now has a solo project – Summer Flake, and earlier in the year recorded a beautiful EP of melancholic garage songs, all awash with wistful harmonies and grungey guitar sounds that combine to evoke that elegy-to-summer-and-goodtimes vibe that music which is simultaneously sad and uplifting tends to do. I recently sat down with Steph to ask her some questions about Summer Flake (not really, I just emailed her. I hate those online interviews where the interviewer tries to doll it up as a face-to-face interview).

I first listened to your songs late one night on my laptop in bed. Maybe I’m projecting but I sense an insomniac quality in your music, particular the first track on the Summer Flake EP, Inside Out – that feeling of staying up so late you’re not even tired anymore and the morning light’s sneaking in. Are you a daytime songwriter or a nighttime one?

Definitely nighttime. During the day I have no focus or motivation for anything, but at night I could sit at one project for hours and hours and feel awake, energetic, focused – obsessed even! In a good way. Especially between 11pm and 4am, which sucks because I work nine to five and I have five housemates who all start work at the Adelaide Central Markets around 6am and go to bed early.

I always write songs with the guitar part first and lyrics last, because they’re usually the hardest for me. When I feel stuck and don’t know what to write about I usually start by thinking of mundane, everyday stuff like not being able to sleep, or having nothing to do or say, or feeling lonely or at a loose end. That song Inside Out kind of addresses all of these things. I say “I’ve been dreaming for all my life, but for the life of me, I can’t seem to sleep. The other end of the rainbow is as lonely as the start”.

Do you play all the instruments on your recordings?

Yeah I do play all the instruments – bass, drums, guitar, vocals – which may seem a little selfish! I’ve never considered myself much of a songwriter, but I love playing instruments, working out melodies, and the process of recording, so I would often record ideas or snippets and then re-write and re-record, so I never felt like it was finished or polished enough to pitch to potential band members or define for others. I didn’t even know if I would ever finish any of it, let alone make it public. I love being in bands, in groups, collaborating with people, even taking directions, and I still get butterflies when I hear a good song that someone has written. But when it comes to myself being in charge of something, I find it hard to believe my own stuff would interest anyone else, or be cohesive enough for anyone else to participate in. And I don’t often get that butterflies/excited feeling about my own songs. I’ve always found the ego and self-confidence part of being a musician, or any kind of artist, really conflicting with my natural instincts and sensibilities.

But now that I’ve got a little more confidence I’m trying to get a band together so that I can play all the gnarly guitar parts live myself and take all the glory!

What was the recording set up for the EP?

The recording setup was pretty budget! And kind of embarrassing, but I am getting better. Just one mic plugged into a soundcard, plugged into my shit laptop. I downloaded a version of Adobe Audition 3 and got a crack for it but it still crashes a lot. And I can’t really work out how to stop the latency issues, so some parts get recorded with a delay and I have to drag the whole track back to the beat, freehand. It’s pretty rustic in terms of the digital age. I do play around a bit with mic placement and all that jazz for getting the drum sound right, considering I’m recording the whole kit with one mic in one take. But I like that it sounds true – like it was recorded by me, in my bedroom. I usually do one drum track, rhythm guitar and solo guitar, bass and then double-tracked vocals. Mixing your own vocals can be pretty cringey, so I try and disguise them a bit with some reverb and sometimes play around with other plugins – my current fav is ‘Old Telephone’. Nice.

I’ve tried to observe recording people over the years, and on the advice of pals like Matt Banham and Kynan Lawlor (from Hit The Jackpot). I’ve tried to limit my use of whacky effects and avoid processes that compress stuff too much, but I still like to experiment. I think for my next Summer Flake release I might even get it mastered!

One of the bands you previously drummed in (Batrider) were fairly peripatetic, forming in Wellington and later basing yourselves in Melbourne, London and Adelaide. Has a sense of place informed your songwriting, in terms of geography separating your musical life into chapters for you?

I’d only ever lived in Adelaide before I moved to London with Batrider and did heaps of travelling. And then after two years of craziness I moved back into the same old sharehouse in Adelaide. So I’m not really very adventurous or very good at change!

The main difference in life moving to London was the sense of desperation, like time’s ticking and you’re poor and really living on the edge – which was great for productivity. It was one of the hardest and best times of my life, basically rehearsing every day, talking constantly about the band, always planning new tours, shows or albums, always broke and worrying about how much longer this will all last. Back in Adelaide now it’s so slow and cruisey, we don’t really talk about band ambitions, we just go to the same pubs every weekend and watch whoever is playing and drink with the same people, the same as what I did in 2005. I often still reflect on those old Batrider/London years when I write songs now – it was an emotional rollercoaster!

What bands have you been listening to lately?

I’m not really known for having great taste in music, or being up to date. I still listen to a lot of the same stuff I did ten years ago, like Sebadoh, The Breeders, Magnetic Fields, Yo La Tengo, Wipers, Elliott Smith, PJ Harvey, Smog, Mazzy Star, Magic Dirt and Cat Power. I don’t find myself getting as obsessed with ‘the band’ as I used to, scouring their discography and stuff. It’s different being able to download music, and following someone on Twitter. I used to trade bootlegs of Veruca Salt and Juliana Hatfield through online forums and competitions and stuff when I was at school, sending US dollars snail mail in an envelope and waiting for a VHS of a live gig, whereas now it’s all readily available to torrent, or on Youtube. I can’t tell if the main difference is that I’m no longer a teenager, or if it’s that everything is accessible that make me feel less passionate about the discovery of something special. I still love great songs and albums though.

Lately I’ve been listening to lots of No Joy, Rule of Thirds, Old Mate, Tamaryn, Yuck, Robyn, The Raveonettes, Kitchens Floor, Peak Twins, Rites Wild, Free Kitten (late to the party), Rhianna, Gillian Welch and lots of 70s Heart.

Summer Flake Bandcamp

Upcoming Summer Flake shows:

Friday 20 July @ Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney

Saturday 21 July @ Terrace Bar, Newcastle

Sunday 22 July @ FBI Social, Sydney

Friday 10 August @ The Metro, Adelaide

Saturday 18 August @ The Gasometer (upstairs), Melbourne

Saturday 25 August @ The Jade Monkey, Adelaide - No Pants

"Summer Flake EP"

Australia continues to exist as a hotbed of experimental fermentation, but with her “melodious indie rock songs,” Stephanie Crase has found a niche in the garage that her down under brethren have yet to carve. As Summer Flake, Crase forgoes the modern indie implications of her press release, choosing to hone slacker rock in the vein of '90s alt-no-ones. Her self-titled EP would fit next to Helium and Pavement on Matador’s roster circa ’96. She’d have played the second stage on Lollapalooza stops in overlooked stopovers such as Cedar Rapids and Omaha and handfuls of people would still be speaking of her performance.

“The Wedding March” has glued down the virtual repeat button, beginning as a whispered three-chord ballad before exploding into mild guitar skronk a shade chiller than Malkmus. The lo-fi crunch of “Run Run Run” evokes summers when radio could jam out a 3-minute stoner-pop gem and not care about Clear Channel demographics. “Inside Out” and “On the River” teases modern doo-wop interpretation (think Vivian Girls) but never commits to going all the way, happier to plunk out catchy one-noters.

The Summer Flake EP is available as a free download, saving you from having to snag it on five finger discount and cut through the boxy, plastic protection - Ad Hoc


This month Summer Flake, aka Hit The Jackpot's Stephanie Crase, and Adelaide expat Matt Banham will hit stages around the country in support of their recent collaborative EP Cruisin' Together. We spoke to Matt Banham about the upcoming tour amongst other things, like Gwyneth Paltrow...

Tell me a bit about the inspiration for you and Summer Flake to collaborate on the Cruisin’ Together CD.
Steph Crase, Summer Flake and I wanted to do a tour together and we wanted to make some big bucks on the road so we decided to put together a CD to pay for our drinks. So far I think we have sold about 10 copies which is about 8 drinks. I need more to put up with Steph for that many days, I tell ya what.

How do you guys fare on the road together? More importantly who gets to pick the car music?
When we drove to Newcastle a couple weekends ago I only had one CD in my house and it didn’t work in the car so we had to listen to the radio. Steph put the radio on a Christian station and I was stuck with that for most of the trip. She did a lot of praying during that trip and kept putting tomato sauce on her hands declaring she was the second coming.

There’s a Paula Abdul cover on the CD. The internet won’t let me listen to it so I have no idea what I’m in for... can you give me a clue?
You can expect to hear a sexual tango of lyrics sprayed from me to Steph and vice versa. I also do a rap.

The Real Thing and 30 Candles are really nice tunes. What was it like piecing them together considering you recorded seperately in your own homes?
Thanks, it was fun recording them. We each recorded our parts and just sent them to the other and got them to do their bits. We are like an old person version of Collarbones.

There’s a nice juxtaposition between your vocal grittiness and Crase’s softer, female timbres. Do you guys look lovingly into each other’s eyes while singing them like Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis in Duets?
Steph can’t look me in the eyes because she gets too intimidated by my sexual energy. It’s not that she becomes attracted to me, it's just that she gets really warm and has to have a peanut butter sandwich to cool down. Which she always puts in the microwave first. Have you ever microwaved a peanut butter sandwich? It's disgusting. Apparently she has plans of opening a shop that does only that. Good luck! - Rip It Up

"Matt Banham & Summer Flake, ‘Cruisin’ Together’ Tour EP"

Steph Crase is the boss of all the decent indie music in Adelaide. Don’t question it. The perfect fuzz guitar and lush pop harmonies of Summer Flake is only her latest effort. A proper list of amazing acts that she’s either initiated or enhanced would get me tantilisingly close to the requisite 200 words. Let’s try: Birth Glow, Batrider, Hit The Jackpot, Fair Maiden, No Through Road, Avant Gardeners… how many’s that? Damn, okay, on to Matt Banham, I suppose.
Banham is the boss of a defunct Pavement cover band called No Through Road. Many moons ago NTR was just Matt. The first time I saw him play I wrote a dumb review where I said he sounded a bit like Bright Eyes. That was embarrassing for us both. Why’d I bring that up? How many words is that?
Banham and Crase were both in No Through Road – Crase even wrote a couple songs for them. Good ones too. (I hope Matt said thank you.) Matt and Steph are sort of gendered versions of each other. They both smoke a lot of cigarettes and they both have slight NY accents from too much Seinfeld. They used to live in a fairly iconic sharehouse in Goodwood with a revolving cast of Exeter / Prince Albert / Metro slackers. Crase has recorded a lot of pretty excellent stuff in that house, including this and this. One time I smoked so much grass I vomited in their backyard, and Nick Walton from Birth Glow had to take off my shoes and tuck me in.
So anyway, this EP is a pretty excellent collaboration, from the edifyingly croonsome ‘Old Fools’ to a cover of Paula Abdul’s ‘Opposites Attract’ that made my face hurt from grinning. You don’t need me to tell you it’s good. You should just buy it. It’s four bucks. The end. - Thousands

"5 Bands to Watch: Adelaide"

Five Bands To Watch: Adelaide

Hard to believe, but a lot of great music happens beyond Melbourne and Sydney. As part of a new series, we asked local Adelaide legend MATT BANHAM to tell us his favourite bands from the City of Churches. He phoned a couple friends.

One of my favourite things about Adelaide has always been how quickly bands come and go. So many are started on drunken whims and quickly dismantled all too soon, but always with a bunch of new ones to take their place. I guess this could be said for a lot of cities but in Adelaide, if a band was around for more than a few years, they were either taking themselves too seriously or not seriously enough.
I’ve been living out of Adelaide for a year and in that time most of the bands I used to watch have either broken up or moved interstate and a million new ones I’ve never heard of have taken over. So to compile this list, I’ve enlisted the help of my friends Karl Melvin (musician, radio presenter and label owner) and Matthew Hayward (musician, booker and manager).
Summer Flake

The first time I heard Stephanie Crase (aka Summer Flake) play music was in my mother’s lounge room after drunkenly asking her to play a few guitar bits on some of my songs for an upcoming gig. She kept telling me that she wasn’t that good and would ruin my songs but then pulled out a fancy looking Fender and proceeded to put amazing licks all over them. Over the next few years she played with my band No Through Road, then Birth Glow, Batrider, Hit The Jackpot, Fair Maiden and Avant Gardeners. Through Birth Glow we got to hear her incredible ode to the soft drink ‘Fanta’ (co-written by Ellen Carey and Nick Walton). Never before had I felt so many emotions about a non-alcoholic beverage, nor questioned who I could trust to take care of it when I went to the bathroom.

Birth Glow - Fanta by Mess+Noise

I knew that while she was playing in all these bands she was writing her own music, but she wasn’t letting anyone hear it. I knew it would be good but didn’t expect it to be quite so incredible. Summer Flake takes the best parts of The Lemonheads, Best Coast, Hole and Elliott Smith and smashes them together with some extra helpings of ’90s indie-rock melodic noodling, all of which comes pouring out of her first EP. She is going to tour the east-coast in a few months and I’m sure everyone will fall as much in love with her as I am. I’ve never been more proud to know a musician than I am to know Steph. More on Summer Flake here. – Matt Banham

Mondo Phase Band

The Mondo Phase Band line-up of guitar, synth and drums pound out some wonderful punk-psych space jams. Worshipping Kraturock, Neil Young’s much maligned LP Trans and San Francisco freaks Chrome, you might get a sense of where they’re coming from. But, you’d probably be wrong. Mondo Phase meet you at the front of the stage with a vast array of effects pedals, a behemoth of a bass amp supporting some ol’ timey synth, solid drumming and delay drenched vocals pushed through one of those pilot-head phone sets you’d expect to see Madonna wearing. Intricate guitar noodling over repetitive synth lines suck the listener into some kind of trancey vortex.
This lot are responsible for dragging reclusive American outfit Nothing People across the sea for last year’s double headed tour. A split 7” cemented the relationship, and this year we’ll see Mondo Phase release an LP recorded by Nothing People folk. More on Mondo Phase Band here. – Karl Melvin

Old Mate

The first time I saw Old Mate it was a one-man monotonal karaoke affair. The last time I saw them (two weeks ago), it was an eight piece sonic bulldozer. The vocals were still monotonal deliveries of tales of fucking up big time but then being able to stand straight back up, brush yourself off and get back on with being a gnarly dude. Intrinsically, Old Mate is Pat Telfer (one third of Bitch Prefect) with an assemblage of crew pulled from Adelaide’s current “band in pockets” scene. Take three members of local outfit friends, throw in wild sax for the skronk factor and a superfluous member on tambourine duties and backing vocals – that’s Old Mate. Musically, the band plays with a lazy, hungover sprawl. There’s no reliance on an over abundance of lyrics or complicated chord patterns. The songs are paeans to life’s downer moments and the celebration of glasses half full.
Five songs recently appeared on a cassette ‘Word is Bond’ and there is talk of a 7” in the coming months. More on Old Mate here. – Karl Melvin

Steering By Stars

Having previously been lumped into that nebulous genre void that is “post rock”, Steering by Stars have spent the better part of a year refining their sound into something more immediate and aggressive. The group – Lachlan Wilson, Rory O’Connor, Adrian Reveruzzi and Tom Smeets – have moved away considerably from the lazy yet oft-repeated comparisons to Decoder Ring and Explosions in the Sky, embracing a distinctive stylistic shift towards a more complex and claustrophobic sound. Think a blend between the goth romanticism of Bauhaus paired with the geographical isolation of Snowman and the electronic symphony of Vangelis. Having nabbed some strong supports recently supporting Jack Ladder and Leader Cheetah, they’re the next band to “break”, I guess you’d say in industry speak? At the very least, it’d be criminal if they didn’t have a bigger impact outside the City of Churches. More here. – Matthew Hayward

Gold Bloom

Gold Bloom landed a few plum supports early on before they’d fully developed into the band they are now: a marriage of the wistful pop sensibilities of Freya Adele and Naomi Keyte (ex-Soursop) and the progressive garage-y psychedelica of Juliet Hunter and drummer Tim Ryles. With both bands the American influences are easier to pick than the Australian ones, however Gold Bloom’s latest single ‘Stalactites’ holds up well against anything that’s been added to the triple j playlist this year. It’s sharp, catchy jangle pop that sounds like the best parts of Talking Heads. More on Gold Bloom here. – Matthew Hayward

- Mess+Noise

"In-Frequencies #10: Chook Race, Summer Flake, Dead Farmers"

Summer Flake
Summer Flake
(Digital EP, independent)
Six instant garage gems from Adelaide’s Stephanie Crase (of Hit the Jackpot and No Through Road fame). There’s no sense of energised furore here though, each track layered with a sense of chilled swoon among fields of teeth-grinding guitars and rambling solos; half a dozen lethargic dreams from the bottom of the world. - Mess+Noise

"Top 100 Songs of 2013"

Summer Flake #88 - Rollo & Grady

"Birth Glow Ultimate Relief"

Birth Glow is Summer Flake's old project.

Inside the cover of Ultimate Relief there’s a photo of a grotty old couch, torn and stained, with an overflowing ashtray on the table beside. This picture will tell you more about Adelaide’s Birth Glow than words could. The couch looks worldly; a likely witness to colourful and admissive late night conversation: exchanges sometimes profound, occasionally trite, often secretive and suggestive. Listening to Ultimate Relief is like eavesdropping on these conversations. This is a band with lyrics like “some say I’m not pretty/They all live in the city” with no indication of a conspiratorial wink – no apparent irony – just naked rhyming phrases left to simmer and gain profundity through speculation.
Some of it never begins to make sense, but for the most part Ultimate Relief works in its own very peculiar, innocuous way. Like the Vaselines without the underlying sexual tension, Birth Glow write cheeky and colourful two-minute jibs, sometimes with guitars, sometimes with just handclaps, sometimes with only a voice. Ellen Carey’s tone is rich and effeminate, while her male counterpart Nick Walton has a narcoleptic, baritone drawl similar to Calvin Johnson. When they sing together, as on ‘Too Slow’, the result is delightful, while on solo vocal outings such as Carey’s ‘Pilot’ and Walton’s short moment at the end of ‘Fanta’, the focus edges towards awkward.
Even during their more textured outings Birth Glow remain a vocal driven band: without voices there’d be very little else to hear, as instruments are often used just to add colour, or to pronounce a rhythm. Running at a mere 18 minutes, it’s impressive how many fluorescent colours Birth Glow manage to inject into Ultimate Relief. If only everyone’s after hour vacuities sounded this good.
by Shaun Prescott - Mess+Noise

"Summer Flake Let's Settle The Score Video"

Video feature - NME

"Summer Flake"

Si en el post anterior nos hacíamos eco de la primera referencia de Summer Flake, en éste hablamos de la segunda, el Ep de debut que aparecerá el próximo mes de Mayo. En realidad, los seis temas que lo componen no hacen sino incidir en la idea que nos habíamos hecho de ellos previamente: mezcla de Lo-Fi e Indie-Noise de bajas revoluciones. Algo así como la mezcla entre Magic Hour y The Jesus and Mary Chain o Mazzy Star. Seis temas de auténtica intensidad sonora, épica distorsionada y buenas melodías. Disponible en su Bandcamp. - The Janglebox

"Summer Flake Stream/ download"

Summer Flake is guise of Stephanie Crase, previously of Batrider, Birth Glow, Hit The Jackpot and No through Road – as a solo artist.

She has a six-track EP up on her Bandcamp it’s jangly,dreamy and basically great – check it out… - Cheese On Toast NZ

"Summer Flake Run Run Run Run"

Summer Flake is the alter-ego of Stephanie Crase, who we last heard from a coupla blog years ago singing on that terrific new Matty Banaahahhahaham song. Stephie (do you mind if I call you that?) is from Adelaide [Australia] and has been in more bands than you've been in Baked Dinners. Ya filthy little perver. Some of those din-dins include Batrider, Hit The Jackpot and No Through Road. She released her debut self-titled EP earlier this week, and it's available as a free download via her Bandcamp. To say it's "well worth the bloody bandwidth" is comparable to saying something like "I'd fuck a turkey pretty hard" (a real no brainer).

May 2, 2012 @ 12:21 · - Polaroids of Androids

"**** Summer Flake 'Hello Friends' Review"


The second album from Summer Flake – the vehicle for Adelaide-spawned indie savant Stephanie Crase – marks a clear evolution from the DIY ethic of her acclaimed debut You Can Have It All (2013). Thanks to production from Geoffrey O'Connor (Crayon Fields), Hello Friends is an expansive, cinematic listen, yet it somehow still feels intimate and beholden to Crase's lo-fi origins. Her voice (and overall sound) recalls Juliana Hatfield, while guitar lines that woozily meander before combusting hint at Bernard Butler and early Suede. Crase has conjured a rough kind of magic on a record that will surely be among the most enigmatic Australian releases this year. - Rolling Stone

"**** Summer Flake 'Hello Friends' Review"

One of the most unsung acts in the country, Summer Flake opens her second album with the wistfully glorious Son Of A Gun.

Every song is arresting — the hushed lurk of Shoot And Score, the plaintive solitude of Tumbling Down and the slow creep country-noir reverb of Look How Far We've Come. Wine Won't Wash Away steps into '90s Liz Phair levels of fuzz and candour, both lost in the moment and the bottom of another bottle, languor waning into something approaching buoyancy. With its melancholy spiked with grit and weary optimism, Hello Friends is a winner all the way. - The Music

"Shredless Summer"

Summer Flake’s ‘Hello Friends’

Summer Flake’s Stephanie Crase has made good on all the promises of her first album with a sound that is pensive and intricate.

A trebly guitar picks out a nervous lick from flattened sevenths as a quietly insistent rhythm section thrums underneath. The guitar snakes its melody across the deadpan backing.

I got everything I wanted

I got nothing I didn’t deserve

The layered vocals coo softly, like a Greek chorus whispering from the depths of the subconscious. Guitars kaleidoscope gently against each other, coalescing into a hallucinatory mantra.

Hello, friends

It’s been a while since I looked you up

The same again?

Write down what I said but start it from the end

Was I happier back then?

“Shoot and Score” is the first single taken from Hello Friends, the new album by Summer Flake. It comes with high expectations, almost three years after Summer Flake’s much-lauded debut, You Can Have It All. And I am happy to say it will blow most of those expectations out of the water. It’s an intoxicating blend of pop, folk and lo-fi psychedelia filtered through the very personal vision of its mastermind, Stephanie Crase. Hello Friends is a creative, confident leap forward, which improves on its predecessor in every respect.

Guitars kaleidoscope gently against each other, coalescing into a hallucinatory mantra.
A solo project in all but name, Crase adopted the Summer Flake nom de guitar in 2012. After years playing other people’s songs in other people’s bands, Crase found herself at a loose end in her home town of Adelaide and started working on her own material in private. She sourced a simple recording app online and turned her spare room into a makeshift studio. There she set about working up her hundreds of accumulated riffs and melodies into fully fledged songs. “I’ve got a box of tapes I recorded over the years,” Crase told me recently, “and lots of them are very bad. I never really considered myself a songwriter but I would always have lots of ideas for guitar parts. I rarely did much singing, but I had lots of little noodles and riffs – and lots of really bad shredding.”

“Shoot and Score” is the second track on Hello Friends. The album begins with the haunting “Son of a Gun”, a rumination on a friendship recently fallen by the wayside. The interweaving harmonies of “Son of a Gun” remind me strongly of folk-rock, although Crase does get to do a little grungy shredding towards the end once the band breaks free from its sedate moorings. The achingly beautiful melodies add poignancy to the overall tone of sombre resignation. Clearly, these wounds were still fresh when the song was written.

Stick ’em up

Let’s see what you got

Up against the wall

Go straight for the heart

I know you’re nothing

If not thorough

Friendship and the ties that bind are common threads running throughout Hello Friends, with an occasional dollop of self-loathing in a couple of places, “Satellite” and “Mess” in particular. Generally, though, it’s love’s rewards and disappointments that are never far from Stephanie Crase’s mind and, like most artists, she looks inwards to understand a lot of what she witnesses outwardly.

The one exception is “I’d Ask You Not to Look Away”, which is a quiet, determined demand for equal recognition as a musician, a prejudice every woman has to grapple with in the male-dominated world of music. In typical Crase fashion, she cleverly subverts the seriousness of the lyrics by juxtaposing them with a Shangri-Las-style ba-ba-ba-ba refrain at the end. As she explained, “I meant it as a powerful thing: like, I can do or say whatever I want.” She who laughs last, laughs loudest.

Crase hasn’t always been so assertive about her music. It took a lot of convincing by her parents before she started music lessons, eventually settling on guitar when she was 11. “I tried doing group violin, but I didn’t do very well in a group,” she says, laughing, “because I was very shy… I listened to my Walkman so much that they said, ‘Well, do you want to try guitar?’ I think I originally said no, because the idea of going into a room with a stranger was really scary, but they kinda pushed me into it, knowing that I would love it. And I did.”

Crase’s older brother, Simon, was another family member who played an influential role in her musical education when, a couple of years later, he purchased all the albums in the top 20 of the US alternative music charts: artists such as Weezer, Veruca Salt, Green Day, Hole, Nirvana, The Breeders, Offspring, Beck, Luscious Jackson, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M., Björk, Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Pavement, Portishead. Stephanie fell in love with all of them but it was Veruca Salt and Hole that particularly resonated with the budding guitarist. The young Stephanie was in shredding heaven.

It seems Crase got shredding out of her system as a teen, though: there are no tasteless displays of guitar pyrotechnics on Hello Friends. “Tumbling Down”, for example, is driven completely by acoustic guitars, including a delicate double-tracked acoustic solo in the middle. All of Crase’s guitar playing on the new album is exceptional, and so are all the guitar tones she has created with the assistance of engineer Geoff O’Connor. But the standout feature of her playing is its clever orchestration. Rather than conventional solos, the instrumental sections are carefully arranged with intricately layered melodies and picking. Miraculously, the results never sound laboured or cluttered. The many hours of playing and recording by herself have given Crase an innate sense of arrangement and dynamics.

A perfect illustration of this is “So Long”, which starts out like a distant relation to the Santo & Johnny classic “Sleep Walk”, or perhaps “Albatross” by Fleetwood Mac. For the first minute the track is purely instrumental, with Crase’s ringing, clean guitar taking the lead role, bending the notes with a whammy bar to simulate a Hawaiian steel guitar. Dreamy, multi-tracked vocals come to the fore with a tale of a spent relationship in decline, wistfully repeating the phrase “so long”. Suddenly there is an abrupt change of gear as the guitar tones become distorted and the entire song quickens and goes into heavy shoegazing territory. It’s almost like “So Long, Pt 2” rather than a continuation. This is probably my favourite song on the album and would have made a fitting album closer. In fact it’s track one, side two of the vinyl edition, so we’ve only just passed the halfway point. As final as “So Long” sounds, Stephanie Crase has darker intentions for the album’s conclusion.

The biggest point of difference between Hello Friends and its predecessor is that this time Crase is working with other musicians rather than playing everything herself. Moving to Melbourne from Adelaide during the recording was also a factor. “I’d get to the end after 100 hours of working and I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, I get how it sounds now – go back and do it again.’ And I was just getting real messed up. And then I moved to Melbourne and didn’t have the luxury of having a spare room where you can have all your instruments and things, and I’d started playing with a different band … and it just seemed to make sense.” Having Geoff O’Connor to help co-ordinate the production has also been a relief for the artist. “He would work through a million types of reverbs until he could sense that we were onto it.” Crase laughs, as she often does during our conversation. “I think he’s a very, very intuitive and patient man.”

For most of her career, Crase was “just the guitarist” and she became a singer reluctantly, out of necessity. Her lack of experience – or perhaps it’s just confidence – occasionally shows. “With vocals, I don’t know whether it is with headphones or being in a small room or hearing it dry or unmixed, but I find performing vocals live really easy but performing for a recording really hard. And I also think it’s just an aesthetic thing, that I really like singing on a recording really quietly and just double-tracking and triple-tracking everything. There’s a couple of songs where there’s three harmonies and then vocals underneath and separate second call-and-response coming in so there’s 40 vocals that all need to be triple-tracked on one song, so that’s why [I say] Geoff is a patient guy.”

Last week, Summer Flake’s label sent out “Wine Won’t Wash Away” as a feature track ahead of the album’s release on Friday. It’s a power-pop noise anthem that recounts a turbulent New Year’s Eve Crase experienced tagging along with a lovelorn friend who tormented himself by a going to party, knowing he would certainly bump into his ex. Crase’s song parses the predictable unhappy outcome, capturing the reckless energy of a frantic night out. Like everything else Summer Flake does, it’s catchy as all getout.

Even at their most pensive, the melodies of these songs are engaging and memorable. Many of them keep popping into my head at odd times, and I am similarly struck by all those “guitar noodles” that Crase has cunningly devised. After hearing “Satellite” I kept humming “kill me now” as I did my daily rounds. Crase is a master of the bait-and-switch technique: musically, “Satellite” sounds like an engaging pop song, but its lyrics conceal an acrid sense of self-loathing. The song’s narrator feels woefully inadequate at maintaining a healthy relationship and longs for oblivion. The darkness of the lyrics turns the sweet music bitter in the singer’s mouth.

The album closer, “Mess”, is even more nihilistic, if that’s possible.

I have gone

So far left of the centre that when you call

I will flee

So why are you even talking to me?

When I’m a mess

You can’t count on me

I’m a mess

One that you don’t need

I’m heartless

So long as your heart beats

I’m a mess

“Mess” is drenched in reverb and a wash of vocals, with the gorgeous melody providing consolation for the singer’s bleak feelings of hopelessness. Even as it decays, life can become more beautiful.

Hello Friends is a perfect title for the second Summer Flake album. People already familiar with Stephanie Crase’s work will be glad to welcome her back into their homes. Many others, who may have been strangers until now, will want to become better acquainted. As Humphrey Bogart's Rick says to Claude Rains at the end of Casablanca: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” - The Saturday Paper

"Summer Flake's Electric Folk Casts a Powerful Spell"

By Jon Young
Australia's Stephanie Craise, who records as Summer Flake, makes electric folk music that's both mammoth and intimate. Her sweet-and-sour combination of frayed guitars and dreamy, overdubbed voices has a bracing sizzle, with sentimental melodies tugging at the heartstrings to amplify the drama. If Hello Friends feels like eavesdropping on someone's aching reveries, it never achieves the creepy oversharing quality sometimes heard in confessional pop, thanks to Craise's vibrant sense of songcraft. Check out "So Long" and "Make Your Way Back to Me," both five-minute-plus epics that benefit from their extended running time by allowing her to slowly cast a powerful spell. Following last year's tantalizing, albeit tentative, Time Rolls By EP, this arresting album marks an exciting leap forward. Bravo! - Mother Jones

"Summer Flake – “Shoot And Score” (Stereogum Premiere)"

A hypnotic guitar riff and a steady drum beat create a sound that could lull you to a trance. Then Stephanie Crase’s ethereal voice enters the frame to lead you deeper into “Shoot And Score,” the eerie, transcendent first single off Summer Flake’s upcoming Hello Friends. Summer Flake will be touring with fellow Australian Courtney Barnett this spring, which makes sense; Crase’s band shares Barnett’s affinity for fuzzy, nostalgic-sounding alt-rock guitar figures. This particular riff builds up such hypnotic momentum that when “Shoot And Score” reaches its abrupt ending, it leaves you wanting more. “Shoot and score, take what’s yours,” Crase sings, perhaps forecasting her group’s inevitable rise to prominence. Listen below. - Stereogum

"**** Summer Flake 'Hello Friends' REVIEW"

What a pleasure it is to give an album a spin after enjoying its lead single and finding out the whole lot is as good as the thing that brought you here in the first instance. Such is the case with Hello Friends, the excellent second album from Summer Flake aka Melbourne-via-Adelaide musician Stephanie Crase (formerly of Batrider). The instantly-familiar '90s guitar-pop sound of Shoot and Score provides a good indication of what's to be discovered across ten tracks. At first it all sounds so sunny and warm, but there's darkness just out of shot at many points and Crase is often in a scathing mood. Opener Son of a Gun finds her in such a headspace, but it's more contemplative than combative; Make Your Way Back to Me is part Sonic Youth, part dream-pop transcendence; the distortion-driven Wine Won't Wash Away is a highlight; while the slow, gentle guitar lines and reflective lyrics of Tumbling Down and So Long are no less engaging. Crase's skill is in making it all seem effortless, whether it's coldly dissecting those around her, switching from loud to quiet à la the Pixies, or peeling off an epic solo. There's a lingering feeling she's not really taking it too seriously, which only adds to the appeal. The musical reference points are clear, but it’s Crase's contradictions that make this such an appealing collection of tracks, and there's much more here than meets the eye. BY PAUL MCBRIDE - Beat

"Summer Flake "Shoot and Score""

Why do we like this?
Sumer Flake is the solo project of talented Aussie Stephanie Craise. After the acclaim of last year's Time Rolls By EP, Craise is readying the release of her latest long player Hello Friends, featuring first single "Shoot And Score."

Melodic as fuck, "Shoot And Score" is brimming with a rhythmic guitar lick and plodding drumming and Craise's entrancing vocal delivery. There's a real lo-fi feel to this one, with Craise once again demonstrating not only her cathartic voice, but the knack she has for writing blissfully charming songs that you'll have on repeat.

Along with fellow singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett, Craise is leading the charge in the resurgence of understated indie rock that hits you with all the feels down here in Australia. I for one can't wait to hear what she has in store on her album.

Hello Friends is set for an April release. - Indie Shuffle

"Summer Flake "Hello Friends" Review"

- It’s no secret that I want to be Steph Crase’s friend. Her brand of gently forceful, intimate grunge is cool without the pretense. When she announced the release of her debut LP, Hello Friends for her largely solo project Summer Flake, I didn’t hesitate to read into the invitation. As much as I want to take this personally, you kind of get the sense Crase would prefer if everyone spoke the language of guitars and did away with the need to use words to communicate altogether. All throughout the ten track LP, which ranges from the upbeat turbulence of Wine Won’t Wash Away to the self aware melancholy of Shoot and Score, her voice is supported by layers upon layers of six-stringed “noodles”, the term she uses to describe her guitar driven expression.

Never holding back from the full fret board, Crase weaves each track together with well articulated guitar lines which never quite form discernable riffs. Actually this is an oddly hook free record, an invisible barrier filtering any pop proclivities from making their way onto Hello Friends. There are definitely themes built into each track, making for complex, fluid guitar parts. The exception is Satellite, which crops up just past the halfway mark. The delicate finger-picked riff makes for a light, calm backing to Crase singing ‘Kill me now’ repeatedly, managing miraculously not to sound whingy or glib. This probably has something to do with her burying lyrics behind those guitars, which are always slightly louder, so you don’t realise what she’s singing until a few listens.

The more optimistic moments on the album are personal favourites, with Make Your Way Back to Me is the most hopeful track, the least likely to have been recorded under grey skies. The record’s highs don’t last for long however, diving beautifully on the following track Tumbling Down where Crase turns off the amp and let’s her voice stand to the front in delicate echoing melodies. Just as proficient at creating space on an acoustic guitar, the wistful mood on Tumbling Down pervades even the more chipper tracks, but the way Crase spins her lyrics you’re never weighed down by the heaviness of it all.

The sheer amount of vocal tracking on each song is done without clutter, it’s as if you’ve stepped into Crase’s head and are listening to how she thinks. Which is creepy for her but nice for us because she can make dark thoughts and crappy feelings sound sweet. To compare Summer Flake’s sound to her ‘90’s alt/grunge forebears would suggest Hello Friends is derivative, which would be wrong, but I’m going to say for anyone who likes Liz Phair or Elliott Smith give this a spin. Listen once, you might miss the brilliance of this record. Listen twice and you’ll be carrying Summer Flake around in your head for a while yet.

- Grace Pashley. - 4zzz Reviews Australia


Hello Friends LP (8 April 2016)

Time Rolls By EP (1 September 2015)

You Can Have It All LP (6 September 2013)

Where Do I Go? EP (February 2013)

Summer Flake EP (May 2012)

Let's Settle the Score (February 2012)



At once exuberant and melancholic, Summer Flake's distinct sound is abundant on second LP Hello Friends (Rice Is Nice Records, 2016). The opening track 'Son of a Gun' begins with the sweetest of melodies, before swiftly unfolding into an unexpected wall of searing guitars exemplary of the technical expertise that makes Summer Flake's live show so electrifying. It's followed by the winding 'Shoot and Score', with mesmersizing guitars underscoring straight-shooting lyrics not tied to any place nor time but that somehow are comfortingly familiar. Concluding the ten-track voyage into a vast inner landscape is 'Mess', a slow-moving, introspective gem tinged with contemplative distortion, rounding out the already captivating album with an unmistakable air of hope.

Drenched in a timeless reverb, Summer Flake's songs are transcendent - moving through the dreamy wings of pop, via the Crystals and the Paris Sisters, down the lonely byways of Karen Dalton and Laurel Canyon folkies, ambling up into the grubby 90s of Hole and Sonic Youth, before lingering out finally into the sunshine of other dream-pop contemporaries like Best Coast or Mac Demarco.

It's only the second full-length release for Summer Flake but Crase's output has been prolific over the last four years, with four EPs under her belt that garnered increasing attention in Australia and internationally. In August 2015, Henry Rollins premiered 'The Sun Won't Shine' (the debut single from the Time Rolls By EP) on legendary Californian public radio station KCRW, with Rollins proclaiming "we love this band". 

"Crase has conjured a rough kind of magic on a record that will surely be among the most enigmatic Australian releases this year." – 4 STARS - Rolling Stone Australia

"It comes with high expectations, almost three years after Summer Flake’s much-lauded debut, You Can Have It All. And I am happy to say it will blow most of those expectations out of the water." – The Saturday Paper

"'ll hear meticulous, effortless sounding harmonies, shimmering but restrained lead guitar and a knack for melody that can't be taught. Crase has a rare knack for writing this kind of music and making it sound easy. Hopefully more people will discover this soon. " – Double J

"The maudlin song titles belie the strength of songwriting on show. **** " – The Music

"....Electric folk music that's both mammoth and intimate... Crase casts a powerful spell. Following last year's tantalizing, albeit tentative,Time Rolls By EP, this arresting album marks an exciting leap forward. Bravo!." – Mother Jones

"Oh be still my beating heart." – Channel V

"Melodic as f*ck." – Indie Shuffle

"“Shoot and score, take what’s yours,” Crase sings, perhaps forecasting her group’s inevitable rise to prominence.“ – Stereogum

"Summer Flake slows the pace down to emulate a lazy, twangy rhythm, places her distorted chords front-and-center, and layers her easy vocals to create a lush, summer-into-fall anthem." – SPIN

"It’s easy to tell Stephanie Crase is one of the sickest guitarists in the country." – Beat
“I say it almost every time I have to write about a new song of hers, but Steph Crase really is a genius.” – Blerg

"Stephanie Crase’s Summer Flake project is becoming Australia’s finest purveyor of moody and melodic guitar pop.” – Poncho TV

Band Members