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Summer Hymns
Voice Brother and Sister
Misra Records

Ready for some pastoral, breezy pop for your summer holiday? Give Summer Hymns' stunning debut album (after releasing a 7" on the Made in Mexico label) Voice Brother and Sister a chance on your stereo, and you'll explore beauty and magic within the world of a project sucking inspiration from American hymns, traditional ballads, and folk songs, as well as Robert Wyatt, Neil Young, Jim O'Rourke, Yo La Tengo, and the Olivia Tremor Control.

Summer Hymns was founded by singer/guitarist (and also Farfisa, Optigan and Dr. Sample!) Zachary Gresham, based upon his ideas of making music a bit on the sideline of the usual indie/alternative bag. He put together the band with musicians (most of them playing with other bands) from around Athens keen on his ideas. Besides Gresham Summer Hymns are: drummer Philip Brown, guitarist Bren Mead (from Masters of the Hemisphere), Derek Almstead (the drummer from Of Montreal) on bass, Dottie Alexander (also from Of Montreal) on keyboards/clarinet, and Adrian Finch (from Elf Power/Masters of the Hemisphere) on violin/saxophone/additional percussion.

Summer Hymns opens with the poppy (a dash late 60's psychedelic) Beginning to see and Mr. Brewer (cackle, cackle) before the music starts floating in many directions. Being a project connected to the Elephant 6 collective imagine Summer Hymns sounding like all those great bands: Apples in Stereo. Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control. During the excellent New Underdressment Grandaddy pops up as a possible reference. Stick your Tail in the Wind and I Shall Miss Missing You are two of the more calmer moments on Voice..., just to lay back and relax to. There are also some experimental, instrumental pieces, such as In Crumb's Mind Could it possibly be cartoonist Robert's head? The album ends with three tracks (the first part, Eating Bark..., makes me think of the Roback brothers' mid-80's neo-psychedelic band Rain Parade) spun together as "one", showing the improvisational style (a style they take further as a live band) their songs must've been written, practiced and recorded by.

I believe Voice Brother and Sister is a great album for all seasons.

Contact: Misra Records, P.O. Box #20297, Tomkins Square Station, New York NY 10009, USA.

Copyright © 2000 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Summer Hymns articles/reviews: A Celebratory Arm Gesture, Clemency.

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