Second Stage: Little-Known Bands You Should Hear

Second Stage: Summer-Winter

Summer-Winter cover i i
Courtesy the Artist/Summer-Winter
Summer-Winter cover
Courtesy the Artist/Summer-Winter

If you’re a fan of The Flaming Lips’ album The Soft Bulletin, then there’s a good chance you’ll like the sound of Summer-Winter. Based in Pittsburgh, the group's songwriter, Terry O’Hara has a voice that has some of the faltering facets of Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, while at times channeling the intimacy of the late Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse). The songs on Alone Is Yes are more folky than the Flaming Lips', but the fuzzy electronic backdrops and textural work, along with O’Hara’s voice, bear a striking resemblance to the Lips’ Soft Bulletin days.

Summer-Winter has an interesting backstory, as well. O’Hara worked in various locales across the country in a wide array of jobs. He was a dishwasher, a farm hand in a hen house, a graveyard security guard, a vacuum repairman, and a political aide. Though, according to his bio, he was always fired from these jobs, due to “lack of skill and poor interpretation of interpersonal cues.”  O’Hara eventually settled in Philadelphia, picking up with the local Pittsburgh music scene.

Alone Is Yes floats through ten lovely folk songs that sound like they were recorded in a spaceship. This zero-gravity vibe comes forth most clearly on  “Tired,” a cut which does its sleepy name justice, drifting through drowsy drum beats, all the while resting on a foggy synth pad cloud. You can check out more of Summer-Winter at the band's Myspace page

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