Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier
The tasty jangle of 7th chords mixed with softly sung vocals give way to swaying grooves and jazzy passages on the extremely vibey “Lewa Lani” from Austin based indie-pop act “Summer Salt”
On “Lewa Lani” the band combines classic bossa nova, and jazz-infused pop to create a sound that is both refreshing and infectious. The drum performance grooves hard yet in a subtle way. The feel is steady but is played with a composed sensibility about the dynamics. This works extremely well with the warm and rounded bass lines following in lockstep with the kick. It perfectly frames this veritable beach scene to unfold. The sonic canvas is then filled out with clean guitars, unison harmonies featuring both male and female vocals, and the inclusion of what sounds to me like gently played keys. In headphones, this can be heard on the edges of the song’s stereo image and some nice ear candy. It keeps things spicy.
What stood out to me the most was the interesting usage of experimentation in the vocal melodies. Here’s where the jazz element shines through in my opinion. Huge intervallic leaps indicative of the genre dance around to great effect but it never goes too far out there. It always sounds catchy. That alone is commendable. The lyrics almost read like a diary entry at the beach. They spin a story of what comes off to me as a free form, carefree, and laid-back existence. That said, there’s a hint of a pensive nature best encapsulated in the chorus.
“Days come and go
Suddenly I begin to see no difference between
A life alone and love
And night and day
So long I'm off to surf
My lewa lani”
I’m digging this one I must say. It’s some much-needed medicine during a stressful week. I’m actually about to go hunting for the album to check it out as a whole. I suggest you do the same.
About Summer Salt
As kids, SUMMER SALT knew what they were running toward. Now, they’re ready to ruminate on what they’ve left behind.
In a way, the trop-pop duo – singer/guitarist Matthew Terry and drummer Eugene Chung – have been building to their brand-new album, SEQUOIA MOON, ever since jettisoning their Dallas, Texas, hometown for the arts-and-culture oasis of Austin after graduating high school in the early 2010s. The band quickly rose through the ranks of the local Austin scene with their 2014 debut Driving To Hawaii, teeming with both the escapism and recklessness of youth and the composure and charm of ‘60s-era pop, doo wop and bossa nova.
Learn more about Summer Salt on their website