Summer People
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Summer People

Binghamton, New York, United States | SELF

Binghamton, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

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"Summer People - Good Problems"

Who?
Summer People is a collective of Binghamton and Syracuse musicians that play throughout the Northeast. Good Problems is their debut CD.

How is it?
Eclectic to say the least. "Two-Hearted River," is a jaunty and brief opener with handclaps, E-bowed guitar, chanty vocals and an alt. country grandeur that seems to be the prelude of things to come. If it sounds cheery, that's because this disc is most certainly so. Proof positive of said assertion is the hard-charging and anthemic "Shallow Water People," and the swerving, whiskey-fueled rocker "Broken Bones." Proving their softer side, the group goes for delicate and well-worn acoustic grace on "The Other Side," and revisits introspection on the cerebral number, "For Giving In."

The album's title track is another attempt at bar-room rowdiness that finds the band attempting to chase down the heights of Craig Finn and The Hold Steady. Though they fail miserably at doing so, they're fortunate the rest of the disc has a few shining moments. The jittery and serpentine rocker "Glossy-Eyed," slithers along, while "See Ya Later, Wouldn't Wanna Be Ya," is a skittering instrumental that's cheerful, creepy and cogent. "Balcony," features layered, tightly-packed guitars and proves to be one of the disc's true highlights. The gorgeous instrumental "The Sun Was Up and it Came Through the Window," is as poetic and breathtaking as its name sounds, while "Great Northern Driver," is understated, intimate and haunting. As it ascends towards its conclusion, it makes its mark as one of the album's best.

"Two Truths," is another stark meditation of just vocal and guitar. The song's simplicity and intimacy demands attention and the fractured, raw vocal tone is attention-grabbing. Lilting piano towards the end stamps this one as indelible. And then rather unexpectedly, the disc ends with arguably the strongest song on the album and one of the year's best. "Curtained Rain," is backed by an acoustic guitar, wurlitzer, female harmonies and a dusty, spartan austerity that is both rustic and ravishing.

For all the unconventional and surprising turns this disc makes there's chunks of raw poeticism, unfettered conviction and a resolute potency that's hard to mask or imitate. Plain and simple, Summer People are damn good. - Absolute Punk


"Summer People Teamwork (2011)"

This past Spring, Summer People put out an album called Teamwork. It's good and rather interesting. Filled with dark, quirky tales that resemble urban legends or campfire stories. All brooding with a sense of camaraderie and whatnot. "Nothin' But Dead" is about an apathetic pimp, horses, swords, and dead women and children. The music fits all that perfectly. It's anguished and rowdy folk rock with rambunctious percussion that can't easily be compared to anything else. Maybe 31Knots or parts of Searching for a Former Clarity or something. Except the lead male vocalist is less Gabel, more Bo Diddley. Seriously, he sings with a wicked southern howl that suits this music wonderfully. If these are campfire songs, he's the eccentric tag-along uncle with the fire in his eyes (probably a reflection, but you were just a kid) and all the best stories. I should mention that he's taken over for the guy who sang most of the last album. There; mentioned. Another vocalist, Jade, gets a lot more attention here too. Now they can all share the mic equally on stage. How fun. Jade's voice is affecting and often chilling, especially when she sings lines like "I saw the joy in your eyes / It kept me up through the night." That one can take your mind to some pretty dark places.

Standout tracks? Hard to pick. They're all good in different ways. If you want one to start with, try "Elsewhere". It's more...immediate. But they all reward multiple listens and could take a while to sink in.

So Teamwork is a great listen. Flows well, with a nice balance of slow-burners and boisterous jams. Vocal duties are well split. No duds, good runtime, memorable tunes. Quite different from their debut, but definitely not a misstep. No complaints here. Check it out. Don't forget the spider dogs, bug spray and cheesy camper things to say.
- Punknews


"Exploding In Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2011: #25 - 1"

Summer People have created one of the most interesting albums of the year mixing Americana, punk, gypsy folk, and post-rock together into a hypnotic swirling blend that truly stands out on its own. Lead vocalist Alex Craver has one of the most unique voices in rock music with a woozy drunken indie croon that resides somewhere between Black Francis and Sinatra. Teamwork is one of very few records I find myself listening to on repeat, thanks to jaw dropping male/female vocal harmonies, Latin influenced rhythms, and the band's shapeshifting sound that's always top notch. If I was making a list of my favorite songs of 2011, "Elsewhere" would be a top contender. - Exploding in Sound


"Exclusive: Listen to a new Summer People song"

New York's Summer People will be releasing their sophomore full-length, Teamwork, on CD and iTunes March 3. The band released Good Problems last year via Red Leader Records. Look below for the cover art, tracklist and a song stream from the album exclusive to Altpress. - Alternative Press


Discography

Teamwork (2011)
http://teamwork.bandcamp.com/album/teamwork

Do It. (2011)
http://teamwork.bandcamp.com/album/do-it

Good Problems (2010)
http://teamwork.bandcamp.com/album/good-problems

Photos

Bio

Summer People was formed in 2008 by a group of like-minded friends from upstate New York who sought to perform unique music while simultaneously strengthening their camaraderie. Their debut album "Good Problems," released January 2010, flaunts "chunks of raw poeticism, unfettered conviction, and a resolute potency that's hard to mask or imitate" (Absolutepunk.net). Inspired with a passionate work ethic, Summer People decided to self-release their sophomore effort "Teamwork" (Low Light Records), which made Explodinginsound.com's list of top 25 albums of 2011. They review "Teamwork" as "one of the most interesting albums of the year, mixing Americana, punk, gypsy folk, and post-rock together into a hypnotic swirling blend that truly stands out on its own." Still in love with being on the road, Summer People will continue to tour relentlessly in support of their two full-lengths and a summer 2011 split with Exit Stencil Recordings' HotChaCha, entitled "Do It."