Summer Dress, from Bangkok have been around for a while, it seems. They are, however, new to us. Serious Music was released in January 2017 as a 9 track album. On Bandcamp it appears as a 3 track EP, and this is how we are reviewing this release.
The band are clearly technically proficient but align this with a good sense of space and taste.
At times they sound like they draw influence from bands like The Sea and Cake, Tortoise and Battles. There is lots of skittering instrumentation, time signature changes airy vocals. Opener 1917, apparently named after the year of founding of the Dutch De Stijl movement, opens with an Animal Collective style intro loop before a revolving guitar hook takes over. This perhaps most reminds us of The Sea and Cake.
The guitars bounce back and forth in and out of prominence, giving way to the gorgeous delayed vocal melody, before eventually crescendoing with stabbed guitars. This is our favourite track on here.Track two, synthesizer, introduces piano (or synth piano) and various other synth sounds into the mix. The vocal delay speeds up and slows down frequently, the time signature shifts from 7 to 6, allowing the song to build before making way to a short field recording.
Third track, The Beatles Fever, is written in several movements, with the synths giving this (whisper it) a prog rock feeling, veering on the border of cheesy but never quite succumbing to this. The intricate guitar work often tends to save the day. The band also introduces syncopated layered vocals here. Because of the synths parts of this even recall the soundtrack to the 80s movie Labyrinth.
You may enjoy this if you like: The Sea and Cake, Battles, Tortoise, prog rock.