summer lawns
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summer lawns


Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Hey jaded Music Fans"

Hey jaded music fans: remember the last time the music slipped in quietly an overtook you? The last song that was less like a verse/chorus/bridge composition and more like an afternoon nap that leaves the lines between dream and reality so blurred as to be indistinguishable? A wave that washed over you and left you tumbling?

Summer Lawns has this ability. They approach their craft in much the same way a chamber quartet would--by stripping the pretense, bombast out of their instruments, and replacing them with a delicateness, a gentle precision. A minimalism born of mastery. Fans of Jeff Buckley, Yo La Tengo, and Low will love it.

Summer Lawns belong in the pantheon. Seriously.
-Trampoline House, August 2004

"Event Listing, February 15"

"The evocatively named lush and moody Summer Lawns." - Village Voice

"Record Review: Summer Lawns, "First We Waited... Then It Started""

2005 has already been a great year of music for me as a fan, but my favourite releases have come from unexpected artists who I had only had a faint knowledge of prior to their 2005 release. One such band that has most impressed me and whose music has become absorbed into my daily ruminations is Summer Lawns. I’ve actually known about this NYC band for quite some time, at least a year, as an internet friend of mine sent me a little 3 song EP called Your Now Is My Surroundings. My friend, Peter, thought I would like the band’s mellow and spacious songs and nice use of the cello, and indeed, I did find Your Now Is My Surroundings charming. Yet, not really sure of where the band was going, or even if the EP was widely available, and reeling from a nice bout of laziness, I didn’t bother to review the EP for this site. I’m kicking myself hard in dark places right now due to my lack of foresight, because Summer Lawns have just released a most impressive full-length of all new material in First We Waited…Then We Started. On this exquisite 9-track CD, released on their own label Stunning Models on Display music label in tandem with the ever-intelligent and expanding Isidore Records, Summer Lawns showcases a remarkable breadth and sensitivity in their music.

The sound of Summer Lawns on First We Waited…Then We Started is dark, often foreboding, and moody. Perfect night music, in fact, that somehow sounds both pastoral and fiercely urban. Consisting of Jeremy Linzee, a mysterious front-man whose voice bears a bit of resemblance to Thom Yorke (but less grating and perhaps with more range), the thoughtful guitar and keyboard lines of Matt Heslinga, Laurel Birkey, whose cello either quakes with deep intensity, or gently drones behind the music, and the creative drumming of Kieran Kelly, Summer Lawns is greater than the sum of its already impressive parts. The band’s style is similar to a cross between the slow and patient music of Low, harkening to the dissonant chords of Radiohead, however incorporating moments of psychedelia, lingering rock, and singer-songwriter sensibilities, creating a unique and haunting musical structure. With creative guitar and drum arrangements, a passionate and understated vocal performance by Linzee, and intriguing lyrics, Summer Lawns goes well beyond their prior EP release to create an atmospheric and cathartic collection of songs to night-drive to.

First We Waited…Then We Started both opens and closes with the band’s most accessible songs (which is not to say that these songs are not interesting). The CD opens with “Piano Song”, which begins as an almost mathy song where lingering guitars, gentle keys, and tenor vocals remind the listener immediately of Ok Computer-era Radiohead, or even a Coldplay untainted by mainstream success. "Piano Song" builds to a quaking rock song, and during the climax Linzee reverts to an impressive falsetto while the guitars charge towards the song’s culmination. As solid as the song is, and it IS a good song, the fact is that “Piano Song” is a little misleading, as it almost paints Summer Lawns as a rock band intent on skilfully veering a little left of other, more popular bands. The seething “Jack the Ripper” immediately sets the listener straight, though, with its rich-toned cello, ultra-slow tempo, and strange guitar lines. As Kelly slowly and methodically builds his percussion parts, Linzee wearily sings cryptic lines. “Jack the Ripper” is a wonder of a song, as mourning guitars and that ever-droning and ominous cello usher in an intensity that overwhelms the listener. “Twin Peaks” continues in this mellow and highly emotional vein, as gentle guitars and Linzee’s beautiful phrasing gently lead the listener to a musical chorus that breathes resonantly. One of the many strengths of Summer Lawns is their ability to phrase their music as a band: the vocals, guitars, cello, even the percussion expands and contracts so gracefully, giving their music a vitality and richness that is rare in any genre. “Twin Peaks” is a study in the use of subtle dynamics and smartly –written parts that give the music a sense of motion, finally culminating in a dreamy and beautiful postlude, complete with layered vocals, loungesque percussion, and rich strings. Bearing the signature line, “The city is a layer of concrete and wood. Peeling away one layer won’t do you any good”, “Concrete and Wood” shimmers with muted percussion, deep distorted guitars, and equally deep vocals by Linzee. The song’s layered guitars, perhaps reflecting the various layers of urban life that the lyrics point to, gradually swell to a magnificent crescendo of psychedelic proportions. Just as the listener is convinced that Summer Lawns are masters of dark and foreboding territory, the gentle and lush strains of “This Little Light of Mine” begin. Yes, this is the same song sung in your Sunday School class, and while on paper the idea of including such a song might sound extremely out of place at -

"Record Review: Summer Lawns, "First We Waited... Then It Started""

I never liked cutting my lawn in the summer time. It seemed that the grass grew back just as fast as I could cut it. But even though Summer Lawns have crafted a somber record, I enjoy coming back to listen to it over and over again. The songs seem melancholy, but have a beautiful touch to them. The opening track "Piano Song" sticks in my head well as it reminds me of Radiohead’s "Fake Plastic Trees." -

"Summer Lawns At Pianos"

I'm glad we showed up early. Summer Lawns (the second band of the evening) was just starting their set when we arrived. I'd never heard or seen this band before. Amazing. These guys were really sharp with a wide range. Over the course of the night, comparisons ranged from early U2 and REM to Yo La Tengo, with a bit of drums from Modern English and bass lines from Joy Division/early New Order. But at the end of it, they had their own thing going and displayed a tremendous range in musicality.

Additionally, they worked with live video projections. (For the life of me, I can't remember the video artist's name. But if you were at the show and can fill me in, please contact me. I'd like to give them a shout out too.) I've seen a number of so-called V-Jays in my day. More often than not, I find their efforts a sorry excuse for video art. But this artist's video library, comprised mostly of 1950's and 60's era scientific and sociological film footage, along with their sense of pacing served as a perfect compliment to Summer Lawns' set. The whole audiovisual production had my wife chirping that the show was her ideal fusion of Yo La Tengo and the Flaming Lips. You can find an mp3 single on their site if you want to give em a test drive.

"Taking the fuck over"

Summer Lawns: Quite simply the most beautiful band in every which way playing in NYC today. -

"NYC Up-and-Comers: Summer Lawns"

Their first show unfolded in front of a silent audience, a majestic set that filled the room with tenderness and the clear understanding that here was a special combination of musicians. In NYC, a city constantly faced with waves of musical immigration, if you can get an audience to shut the hell up while you’re playing you know you might be on to something. - L Magazine

"Summer Lawns review by"

Summer Lawns features some of the very best new music I have heard in an extremely long time. In August 2004, wrote “Fans of Jeff Buckley will love it.” It seems to me that fans of most music genres will love Summer Lawns’ magic.

The band members are Jeremy Linzee (vocals, guitar), Laurel Birkey (cello, vocals), Kieran Kelly (drums), Andrew Landry (guitar, multi-instrumentalist). The band was conceived by Jeremy Linzee and former Summer Lawns’ guitarist Matt Heslinga in a Brooklyn studio in June 2003. Jeremy, Laurel, Keiran and Andrew Landry hail from different creative backgrounds.

Jeremy studied literature and art history in college, and has a Masters in Architecture. He says the “correlation” between his work as an architect and the band’s music adds to the way in which the songs are made. Laurel had formal training at the Manhattan School of Music. Keiran has been a professional musician for more than 10 years. In college, Andrew majored in classical guitar. Jeremy says their band has always had the concept that it “would approach rock and roll like a chamber group, stripping out the unessential, layering each part in its relationship to the whole.”

Jeremy provided me with some amazing insights into the specific influences for his songwriting. He says “all good art asks…universal questions.” For example, “what does it mean to be alive on this planet?” He believes that these universal concerns which he labels “cosmic” need to be situated into the “particular.”

For Summer Lawns, there is a constant striving via their music “to move from the cosmic to the mundane.” Jeremy says Summer Lawns’ quest is to create songs that “locate the beauty in the everyday, looks at how weird and strange and beautiful it is and then positions it in such a way that one is struck by a very powerful: “’what is this about?’” I believe that this band’s music speaks for itself and has succeeded in both locating and positioning that everyday beauty.”
-, International Newsletter


"Your Now Is My Surroundings" EP July 2003 (Self Released)
"First We Waited Then It Started": LP July 2005 (Label: Stunning Models on Display/Isadore Records; Distribution: Redeye distribution)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Formed June 2003 in Brooklyn, NY, Summer Lawns has been gaining notoriety for their intelligent, cathartic, and haunting live performances in New York. They position intimate vocals and classic songwriting amid a grand backdrop of lush instrumentation, creating songs that are at once both shimmering and spare. As if Nick Drake sat down for drinks with Yo La Tengo in Mark Linkous' palatial kitchen at 3AM.

The band which is composed of Jeremy Linzee (vocals, guitar), Andrew Landry (guitar, keyboards), Laurel Birkey (cello, vocals), Prashant Rao (bass), and Kieran Kelly (drums), was originally conceived by Linzee and his writing partner guitarist Matt Heslinga. The quick addition of Birkey on cello was a perfect complement to their spare aesthetic; she inspired the group to explore writing and playing music as a chamber quartet would, a process in which each part was meticulously crafted as part of a larger whole. Live, they left audiences galvanized in complete silence as the band’s set of intimate, yet lush songs unfolded around them. As a trio, they recorded a three-song EP entitled “Your Now is My Surroundings.”

After several months, Kelly joined the group on drums. His complimentary and restrained tempos allowed the members to fully begin to develop what has now become their signature mixture of lush essentialism. At work in their new studio, they began building swirling textures around their minimalist aural palette, which is reminiscent of “And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out”-era Yo La Tengo, and “Do You Know How To Waltz”-era Low. Their work in the studio produced their debut album, “First We Waited… Then It Started.” The record was released in the summer of ’05 by indie label Stunning Models On Display and Isadore Records and has national distribution through redeye distribution.

In October of 2004, on the strength of their newly completed album, Linzee was asked to play two songs at the 7th annual Jeff Buckley tribute in Chicago. Tribute organizer Michael Cameron said he “could not get Summer Lawns’ CD out of his car,” his chosen location in which to listen to all 600 competitors for the tribute as well as his favorite music. Also the official Jeff Buckley website featured Summer Lawns with a glowing recommendation of their new album. “Pianos Song,” the first single from “First We Waited… Then It Started,” was among the finalists for the 2004 International Songwriting Competition in the rock category.

After a tour to the midwest and shows on the east coast, they began work on their second record, debuting a handful of new songs on a live in-studio show at Gigantic studios in NYC for Seattle Station KEXP in May 2006. They recently mastered a seven song demo/ep of the new material.