Honeycomb by Summer Underground is a unique outfit of beautiful structure, singer/songwriter lyricism and vocal delivery. The male and female leads match tones perfectly with neither one pushing within their own registers or overlapping focus. The songs breathe easy and captivate slow. In most cases, the piano acts as glue, holding the vibes and emotions intact. Can you really go wrong with a pretty piano line and some full bottom chords? Summer Underground doesn’t think so and they’ve taken this idea to the bank. Is it easy? Not a chance, but when done right it can be the simplest effect for beauty.
Honeycomb is a clinic of sparkling and delicate passion that weaves between romantic lounge and intimate jazz. It’s a lesson in active listening that really rewards the listener with some deeper meaning on love and life, clearing the mind in the process. As I hear the gentle tapestries of sound I picture a dim lit and comfortable alehouse with a corner stage and eager ears. Summer Underground seems to have an understated ability to attract attention despite their soft compositions and I find that to be a rare and enchanting achievement.
“Overture” is our first taste of Honeycomb and its warm sweetness is paced with care. The ivories glide along with strong supporting inversions while the vocals flow effortlessly. As the verses gain momentum the subtle entrance of the tambourine is just genius. I felt the song needed that little nudge of movement and the pretty bright percussion couldn’t pair better with their ascending lines. This song decays with lovely form and leaves you pining for more. Lucky for us, there’s so much left to unfold.
The next few tracks explore more guitar laden work, but it’s “Coyote” that returns things to their roots, even adding some danceable elements at the end. As it grows, these swirling runs of synth trickle in amidst the cool piano and things begin to swell just slightly.
The space widens for highly emotional harmonies and piquing chord resolution. Summer Underground really pours on the feels with this one - chalk it up for a sentimental soundtrack. And yet, the closing seconds take new ground and become loose with feeling and light on the feet, urging a sweeping expression for the dance floor if even just for a moment. This is a heavy album that manages to feel weightless. See for yourself, you’re bound to lose yourself within it.
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