Summer Hymns

A Celebratory Arm Gesture

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Summer Hymns concoct more ethereal indie pop/rock with art rock, psychedelic, and even ambient compositional shades on their second album. It's a pleasing if somewhat somnambulant approach, incongruous yet somehow nice to behold, much like the cover picture of a lion walking on a deserted field with skyscrapers in the background. As songwriters, they have an off-kilter nonchalant charm similar to those of early '70s British psych-into-prog figures like Syd Barrett, Kevin Ayers, and Robert Wyatt. The more or less song-oriented passages are broken up by instrumental interludes that go into murky fourth-dimensional territory with their use of orchestral instruments, foggy electronic treatments, and unpredictable swerves into American folk licks. The use of pungent church-psychedelic organ is a strength, and the whimsical deployment of creative orchestration owes at least as much to Brian Wilson as to Brian Eno. As low-key, modern-day psychedelic-ish rock it's interesting, if hard to know what to make of it all.

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