What do you do when the guitar you wrote all your songs on gets stolen mid-tour and you’re too practical to run out and jack up your credit? This might not seem like a major problem for most bands, but when you’re the sparse duo of Eternal Summers and you are relying on that Parker Nitefly to compensate for high and low end, you can’t help feeling a bit exposed.
After a futile appeal for sponsorship, Nicole Yun experiments with the Fender Telecaster she has on hand. She recognizes that while it cuts like a knife and has a gorgeous high range, it is missing that low edge. Suddenly glad that she and Daniel Cundiff never made a pact to remain solely a two-piece, they decide it is time to add a bassist. Daniel says, “Nicole and I had been bouncing the idea of adding a bassist around for a year or so because we were writing more complex songs and it seemed a disservice to the songs not to have the low tonal quality that a bass would provide.” Given the recent circumstances, they move into action.
Luckily for them, they live in the tight knit Magic Twig community of Roanoke, Virginia. Enter Jonathan Woods, who plays with Daniel in other bands and is, after all, the one responsible for introducing Nicole to Daniel. Jonathan is exactly what they need, a fast learner.
Eternal Summers is set to record 17 songs in 2 weeks spending 12 hours a day at the Magic Twig recording studio. Daniel catches the flu, but powers through. Nicole is off to Korea and the recordings are sent to Sune Rose Wagner (the Raveonettes) and Alonzo Vargas in NYC for mixing.
Though apprehensive, Eternal Summers is opening themselves up to outside contributions for the first time. And how does that go? Nicole says, “I was in Korea when I got the bulk of the songs so I was literally in a different world when I heard their take on our songs. It was mind blowing!”
The result is their sophomore album Correct Behavior. It is, as you would expect with the addition of a new member, sonically fuller than their debut Silver and earlier EPs. Until now, Eternal Summers was writing jangly post-punk stompers (Pogo, Able To) and languid dream pop ballads (Safe at Home, Lightswitch); hitting opposite ends of the spectrum was evoking confusion for some. And while Correct Behavior still reaches the upbeats (I Love You) and the slowbeats (Good as You), album opener (Millions) blends the disparate aspects of their back catalog into a coherent sound that is uniquely theirs. It is bright, fresh and bridges any gaps that might arise from what they once lovingly called dream-punk.
By the time you’re a few songs in (You Kill), those that have followed Eternal Summers will still easily identify what they loved about the duo: the quirks that graced their previous efforts, their brevity, their teen-angst lyrics, their hooks, their power and volume, and their sometimes tongue-in-cheekness, (Girls in the City). But you should also notice, a rounded out sound that more accurately reflects their eclectic tastes and influences, namely: Smashing Pumpkins, the Sundays, the Troggs, Yo La Tengo, Ride and Black Sabbath.
With Silver, Eternal Summers received comparisons to a barrage of 80s & 90s era lo-fi indie bands. With Correct Behavior, Eternal Summers is letting go of the things that once defined them, their status as a duo, their attachment to a specific instrument, and their need to remain insular, to create their most realized album.
Some quotes from other publications:
“This Virginia duo’s debut could double as a hypercompressed essay on post-punk’s shift into indie.” SPIN MAGAZINE
“You think you might get bowled over with its ramshackle guitars, but singer Nicole’s smooth, sugary vocals stream in and hold the song together like a velvet ribbon on a birthday package, unwavering and fealty” THE FADER on Secret Language
“Silver’s lo-fi production, post-punk charm, and exuberant songwriting lends itself well to tunes about teenage nostalgia and rebellion” NYLON
A dirty, lo-fi influenced power- and noise-pop trend currently dominates the indie music scene, a stand-out is Eternal Summers. – INTERVIEW MAGAZINE
“An embodiment of everything that was alluring about ‘80s-era indie rock: the simple pleasures of guitar, bass, and drums and a leading lady who belts and wails with skill” The ATLANTIC
“Yun and Cundiff display a pretty firm grasp of two quite disparate musical styles– jangly post-punk and dream-pop– and only occasionally allow those styles to interact.” PITCHFORK
“Before we delve into the debut album from the likely frontrunner for best lo-fi drum-guitar team in all of Virginia, can we take a moment to reflect on how good their song “Pogo” is?” The L Magazine
“The 2009 self-titled debut EP from Virginia’s Eternal Summers — one of last year’s best” GORILLA VS BEAR
“Music that runs that gamut from punk to pop to dreamy fun” VENUSZINE
“The Roanoke duo makes a virtue of its limitations, matching concise rhythms to noisy jangle in the mode of older stripped-down indie-pop acts like Pylon, Orange Juice, and Unrest.” ONION AV CLUB
“Eternal Summers have a knack for writing really simple, really catchy songs that are influenced by 1980’s indie pop, 90’s noise pop and anything else that has the kind of hooks that dig deep into your head.” ALL MUSIC
“Full of short, punchy ditties and short-and-sweet vignettes, Silver is all about the trials and tribulations of growing up after you’re supposed to have grown up.” POPMATTERS
“The Eternal Summers apply the economics of punk rock songwriting – short to the point, simple but a blast to play and memorable choruses – to their own form of jangly indie rock, which could best be described as lo-fi power pop” GHETTOBLASTER