For four years now, Roanoke, VA’s Eternal Summers have been a band on the brink. Their debut record, 2010’s Silver, was a straight-forward collection of guitar and drum-based punk nugs that put the then-duo on the map; their most recent, 2012′s Correct Behavior, saw them expanding to a three-piece and winning blog buzz with shimmering dream pop numbers like the scintillating “Millions.”
They’ve spent the past half-decade touring around the country, playing shows at dive bars and beach bars and some random guy’s house, winning fans with high energy performances and a blustery blend of punk antics tempered with a shoegaze gloss. And as a result, they’re slowly transitioning to one of our very favorite bands making music right now, and a sure pick for 2014’s next breakout act.
This spring, Eternal Summers will release its third LP, The Drop Beneath, on March 4 via Kanine Records. (They’ll play Boot & Saddle one day later.) In advance of its release, we rung up one-half founding duo, singer/guitarist Nicole Yun, to hear more about Drop’s creation. Outside, winter storm Pax raged on, but inside our respective homes felt warm and comfy, as we talked songwriting, DIY, and the best tacos on the road. Read on!
The Key: How are you guys holding up this winter? Is it as bad in Virginia as it is here in Philly?
Nicole Yun: Yeah, it’s snowing nonstop here. We already got 14 inches. But it’s great because I don’t have to work and it’s nice to just have time off. I was telling a friend the other day: when you get used to all of the breaks in November and December with the holidays and you just slide through to January and you have to work straight through, it can be daunting…so it’s nice to have time. I have nothing I need to do, and I can do anything I want.
TK: Do you guys work other than being a band?
NY: I work at a health foods store, but it’s the type of place where I’m around people who were are very supportive of my music…so basically I can go on tour, then come back and do a little work for them.
Daniel (Cardiff, co-founder and drummer) does some teaching; he’s actually really great with elementary school age kids. I think it’s because he has a beard—he has this authority and the kids just respect him.
And Jonathan (Woods, bassist) is in a ton of other bands—he’s a member of Eternal Summers but he also plays with other groups too. So he is definitely living the music life.
TK: So tell me a little bit about the new record, The Drop Beneath. I heard a stream and it sounds a little dreamier, and a little less angular than Correct Behavior. What the writing and recording process like? How was it different writing your second record as a three-piece?
NY: I think the fact that it is our second record as a three-piece means we were more confident this time around. I think Jonathan in particular felt more assertive this time—I think last time he felt a bit more restrained, because we had been a duo and then he just joined as our bass player, and he didn’t want to “ruin” the dynamic. But none of us should feel any restraint at all. We’re a three-piece and we’re going to do whatever we want. (laughs)
As for the songs, some of the songs on this record we had written around the time we were recording Correct Behavior. That first single “Gouge” was actually a reject from Correct Behavior. We were really excited about it then, and wanted to include it. But some of the people who worked on the recording with us were like, no, it’s not ready. And honestly, I think they were right. The original mixes just didn’t sound quite right. And this time, the second time we recorded, it sounded much better, I think because we had been working with it for so long, and we were playing it better, and just had a better vision. So we had a lot of songs like that on the new record, that we were playing on tour for like a year and a half.
Other songs were more recent—there was a batch of songs I wrote around December 2012/January 2013 right before we recorded the record in February 2013…there was a lot of me just sitting down in my room and writing songs and recording them on my phone. Continue reading