Summer Children “On The Go With Summer Children”
As the first major release from Adam Marsland’s Karma Frog label it highlights the versatility of his engineering and producing skills. The pairing of songstress Leslie Wenzell and guitarist Dan Akira is a good one. The Summer Children influences are mainly pop and country of the 70’s. Starting with the gem “Here I Go!” it’s both bouncy and catchy with a terrific guitar lead and some steel lap twang. The country pop style is more pronounced on “Poor Natalie” and “Who Ya Callin Trash?” Akira lets his inner Johnny Cash out for “Mighty Fast Car” and Wenzell channels Tammy Wynette on “The Bluest Heart.”
Another highlight is the harmonious “Summer Children,” which recalls The Free Design and The Association. My favorite here is the strong composition “Stand Beside Me” where Wenzell’s pipes resemble The 5th Dimension’s Marilyn McCoo. As you’ve guessed, the band touches a variety of genres and if you’re open to traditional Americana this is a fine debut.
Simon Felton “Emotional Feedback”
Third release from Garfield’s Birthday frontman, explores a sad look back at a relationship. The mood is set with the wistful “Two Fine Lovers/A Warning,” and the piano melody “Sympathy No.4” is a sad sack theme in every sense, as “Safe Bet” picks up with the pace a bit with a hopeful harmony in the chorus of “tell me things are better than they sound” but even here he’s “a loser” and “dead end.”
Paul Williams early work tread similar somber ground and there are several songs that are real keepers, like “Throw It All Away” and “Coffee and Lies.” Both are beautifully descriptive vignettes and with a minimum of theatrical drama. While the honest self deprecation with a song or two is fine, its the main course here. If you are in that sort of mood, than this will fill the void nicely.