Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know of (or are!) a band/artist you think should be featured on The Underground, please hit me up on Twitter @AnOrangeFellow, or alternatively The official Underground Blog.
Elevator is the debut release from self-proclaimed “sun fuzz duo” Summer Aviation. It’s the kind of introduction that is at once bewitching and a little confounding, as it is hard to deduce exactly what kind of band Summer Aviation are going to be after listening to it.
In my books, that’s a good thing.
The initial whirs and reverse reverb of the opening track, “Lift”, at first suggest an album infused with psychedalia and disharmony. However, when the axiologically melodic singing and rythmic percussion begins, the song begins to take form and what previously seemed discordant has a concrete, simple and even hummable shape. Listening back to that first minute, it really is cool how it all comes together so slowly and perfectly. The very first time I listened to “Lift”, I had a great time guessing what the song was going to turn into, and the moment the track revealed itself as a catchy pop song really was smile-inducing.
The proceeding songs are more simple, though just as catchy and not lacking in their specific charms. “Thrust”, for example, is a gentle and enjoyable listen whilst still boasting an oddly underplayed and frantic build at times, which keeps it from becoming uninteresting. Then there’s the short one-two punch of “Love so Fine” followed by “I believe in Sunshine” – sweet, uplifting and easy listening, each making sure not to overstay their welcome at under three minutes apiece.
The last track is where things get kind of funky again. “Angle of Attack” is a massive deviation from the previous tracks, fully emrace the before only flirted-with electronic angle of the record. It’s a song that’s so much more aggressive and so far-removed from what’s come before, that it almost serves as a sort of finishing boast or closing statement. A closing message that Summer Aviation are capable of sounds wildly different that what has preceded, and honestly, that’s kind of a silly and great way to end the experience. Look forward to seeing more from these two.