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.
Correct Behavior is out July 24, 2012 on Kanine Records.