Eternal Summers, Correct Behavior
While I thoroughly enjoyed Roanoke, Virginia, trio (well, then still a duo) Eternal Summers’ debut album Silver, I remember thinking that the album was more of a stepping stone for what would come next. Silver had some perfectly-executed punk-pop tunes that I couldn’t help putting on repeat — namely the album’s title track — but the album as a whole was dragged down in my mind by the amount of slower-paced tracks that couldn’t quite keep my attention and that all seemed to melt together.
After a release earlier this year featuring a collection that included their early EP, 7-inch, and covers recordings, simply titled The Dawn of the Eternal Summers, Eternal Summers released their sophomore full-length, Correct Behavior, in July, and it’s everything that I’d hoped the band would pull together for their follow-up album. Eternal Summers continues with their unique blend of summer-breezy surf pop, hazy grunge-punk, and sometimes shoegaze-esque tunes, all set to singer Nicole Yun’s sweet, charming vocals; however, here it seems the band has just taken all that to the next level.
It’s interesting to note that the album was mixed by Ravonettes frontman Sune Rose Wagner and producer Alonzo Vargas, who both also were the guys behind the Dum Dum Girls’ latest album Only In Dreams. Listening to Correct Behavior the first time, I immediately thought of the similar progression seen by bands like the Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast. Using those two bands as examples, their earliest recordings were extremely lo-fi and hazy, barely making the vocals audible behind so much fuzz.
With each album, however, that those two bands have released over the past few years, their sounds have gotten clearer and clearer, leaving behind that angsty, lo-fi sound and replacing it with more polished and crisp recordings, with an added emphasis on each of their respective female-fronted vocals. The same theory partially rings true with Eternal Summers. While maybe not quite as dramatic as some bands’ “evolution,” Correct Behavior is definitely Eternal Summers’ fullest, cleanest, and biggest-sounding recording to date, and Yun’s vocals are purely stunning.
The beginning half of Correct Behavior is by far my favorite — the album starts off loud and fast with “Millions,” quite possibly my favorite track on the album, and continues in the same upbeat, fast-tempo-ed fashion for three more tracks. “I Love You” is another one of my favorites, reminding me slightly of indie popsters Tilly and the Wall with its quirky chanting and all-out party feel. “It’s Easy” is a slower but still equally good track (as opposed to some of the slower songs on Silver, which just seemed to drag on). “Girls in the City,” featuring the album’s first male vocals (sounding like French dance-rockers The Teenagers’ vocals, in that they seem more like speaking than singing), adds an interesting change of pace in the album’s direction.
Correct Behavior doesn’t finish out quite as strong as it starts, but it grabs and holds listeners’ attention much better than Silver did all the way to the end. On my first listen to the latter end of the album, I couldn’t help but compare Yun’s voice to that of Metric’s lead singer Emily Haines. Once that thought popped into my head, I couldn’t shake it, especially on “Heaven and Hell.”
I think Correct Behavior is a huge step forward for the band, moving in all the right directions, and it was exactly what I hoped they would do for their followup. With this great batch of songs and some of Silver‘s killer tracks, Eternal Summers is building up quite a repertoire of truly great songs that I can’t wait to see played live.