Much like their hometown of San Luis Obispo, California, which lies midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Fialta, who take their name from a Vladimir Nabokov short story, alternate between vistas sun-kissed and fog-bound, offering up an evocative 12-track debut that's tailor-made for cruising up and down the Pacific Coast Highway, whatever the weather. Comprised of couples Michael Leibovich and Beth Clements, and David Provenzano and Sarah Shotwell (imagine if the Mates of State married Matt & Kim) the band specializes in cleverly arranged, erudite pop confections with lots of handclaps, glockenspiel, and ukulele, all of which are peppered with crystalline harmonies of the "oooh" and "ahhh" varieties. Despite its nod to the coldest of seasons, the 12-track Summer Winter leans heavier on the former than the latter, with highlights arriving via the infectious, Jukebox the Ghost-esque "Photographs," the moody, wet pavement pounding, rainy night ponderings of the albums' first single "Cars," and the impossibly jaunty title track, which like much of this melodious and likeable, yet undeniably millennial collection of public radio/industrial coffee chain-approved daydream jams, handles the precarious spinning plates of suburban folk, self aware indie pop and local musical theater with the keen precision of the home schooled.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger