The Summer Pledge – You Are You
After almost 2 years as a full quartet, The Summer Pledge are offering their debut LP, You Are You, via Woodbridge records (with special releases through Red Plane and Tapeclub). Indie edge and proggy-cerebral - feedback fueled ruminations from exploratory minds – a soulful pop style that embraces a dreamy-prog rock-bend, filled with an almost cinematic wanderlust and percolated with reverb. Dustin McLaughlin said he and Rob Wilson met through "mutual, previous-band-envy" and started up in 07 with Jeremy Damaske, an ally through previous band Comrade Kilkin. Matt Conzett (from Letters In Binary) joined soon after and the band started playing out, touring and recording.
"We wanted to conceive something boundless and expressive, with an allowance of self-interpretation and reliability placed upon the listener," said McLaughlin. "We tried breaking down our early space-rock jams into a more condensed pop structured format to veer away from sounding like every other post/ambient rock outfit out there. Without blowing our load, we wanted our debut album to be a representation of who we are now and who we can become." Summer Pledge also recorded with Davis at the White Room. Through Tapeclub and Red Plane Records respectively, they’ll release a cassette and special French release with alternate art work. Woodbridge records releases the U.S. version.
"When we listen to [You are You] and think about the year that’s past since we started recording," McLaughlin said, looking back, "the album is an exercise in patience- both in the music itself and the path it took for us to be able to release it. No stone was unturned and no corners were cut."
With new songs ready, future plans include touring as well as spending as much time outdoors as possible. And maybe, squeezing in golf lessons.
(photo: vanessa miller)
Manna & Quail – Smile Sweetly, Say Good Morning
Detroit quartet Manna and Quail, purveyors of dream-folk and spacey-brit-pop, have dug themselves a groove, reaching the doors of self-discovery after three years and now a fresher line up. On their newest, Smile Sweetly, Say Good Morning, singer/pianist Steve Saputo opens up the creative process, with guitar parts, melody and such, to more collaboration with mates Chad N. (guitar), Matt W (guitar). and James (bass). For SSSGM, Saputo was able to bring chords and melodies and "they were able to help me build it into something beautiful and brilliant." Saputo also credited "the genius that is" Daniel Zott and Ben West, who aided with recording. "The first record (These Colors Together) was simple pop songs mostly," said Saputo, "and I like that stuff, but it didn’t capture who I was as a writer and what we are as a band."
"This time we decided to take time recording. We did roughs of the songs with Daniel and focused on guitars and noise. When we we're satisfied with that, we took the songs to Ben West and captured drums, bass, vocals, keys..." Saputo added, summarily, "The overwhelming theme of the album is me trying to navigate my way through the last few years. Delaying marriage as long as possible, watching my family struggle through the auto-industry/economy, trying to love people while generally disliking society."
For a review of SSSGM -
(photo: joe gall)