The duo behind Eternal Summers, singer/guitarist Nicole Yun and drummer Daniel Cundiff, 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. Their debut album Silver is filled with them from top to bottom and it plays like a singles collection instead of a debut. Whether gently crooning soft ballads like "Safe at Home," rollicking out on songs like "I’ll Die Young for Rock and Roll," or raising a ruckus on rockers like "Pogo," the duo are an indie pop jukebox with no filler. Neither Yun or Cundiff are virtuosos on their instruments, they keep things very basic and direct. Perfectly simple and designed to hit hard and stick with no fancy keyboards or horns to get in the way of Yun’s fragile vocals and tender words. She has a voice that sounds like it might blow away in a stiff breeze but it’s highly effective at conveying emotion with the slightest effort. The ballads like "Salty" or "Eternal" are totally heartbreaking and intimate in a Softies or Spinanes fashion with both Yun and Cundiff showing great restraint and feeling. When they bump up the volume and tempo, Yun’s vocals are just as effective. Her singing on "Dye" has a nice amount of sassiness and her forceful shout on the album opener "Disciplinarian" shows some familiarity with the great post-punk singers of the '80s. When they slow things way down and get all sadcore epic on the album closer "Bully in Disguise," her husky and downcast vocals are enough to make even the strongest hearts bend a little. It might have been nice for Cundiff to chime in more, his vocal duet with Yun on "I’ll Die Young" is one of the album’s highlights, but that’s a small complaint. Silver is the work of a band with a very clear vision and the skills to make it work like a dream. Unless you have a time travel machine that would let you drop in on a Softies/Galaxie 500 double bill, you’ll not hear music this intimate and true anywhere else in 2010.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra