Plan9 Music



Format: CD
Label: MISR
Catalog: 55019
Rel. Date: 07/01/2003
UPC: 656605501925

Artist: Summer Hymns
Format: CD
New: Available to Order $9.97

Formats and Editions


Zachary Gresham is among a handful of young American songwriters whose pop sensibilitiesintersect with a love of country instrumentation. While his band Summer Hymnshasn't attracted anywhere near the attention of similar minded outfits like Wilcoor the Jayhawks, he's persevered, and on Gresham and company's third full-length,cathartic moments arrive on the crest of a pedal-steel twang or in the soft inflectionsof his Southern-accented voice. Drummer Philip Brown provides the steady backbeat,perking up his co-founder's songs or settling into a subtle gait perfectly suitedto Clemency's folkier moments. But the album's most distinguishing characteristicis its sound; where Summer Hymns once settled for the lo-fi recording techniquesseemingly indigenous to their hometown of Athens, Georgia, the band traveled toNashville this time to work with Mark Nevers of Lambchop. His production capturesthe band's homespun charms while retaining enough of an edge to keep it from becomingtoo cute. Songs like "Wet Mess" and "Upon Your Face" even veer off toward psychedelia,with guitars and keyboards leaving the sacred earth and reaching into space. Theseare but worthwhile diversions amidst affable tracks like "Be Anywhere," a pleasantlyrolling tune built from pedal steel, glockenspiel and acoustic guitar. Greshamalso flaunts a sense of humor, with a childhood story about a trip to a Bravesbaseball game and a hunt for an autograph in "Pete Rose Affinity." Summer Hymns'one weakness may be their ballads, which test Gresham's vocal range while settlingfor pedestrian rhythms; fortunately, there are only a few such tracks on thisotherwise solid and enchanting album.
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