Summer Flake’s new EP drops this Friday in Australia and the U.S., Time Rolls By, via Rice is Nice Records. Containing four new songs and one cover of the Rolling Stones song “Some Things Just Stick in your Mind”. This is the second EP release from Summer Flake, and the first single off of it has been a big hit so far, “The Sun Won’t Shine”. You may remember, the single was my record of the day for 50third last week… This release finds those laid back songs, easy flowing lyrics by songwriter Stephanie Crase still present, but with a different band backing her up. The songs all have that Courtney Barnett feel, with a bit of post grunge approach. Summer Flake has found itself becoming one of Australia’s most respected indie artist. Here is what Stephanie had to say…
-What inspired this new EP?
Time Rolls By doesn’t really have a central theme or inspiration. Apart from “The Sun Won’t Shine”, which has been kicking around since the last album, and the version of “Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind”, the other three songs are all super new, written in August of this year. With an album written but pushed back til next year, Jules from Rice Is Nice planted the idea in my brain that maybe we could release a digital thing or something to tide me over, and I was keen to run with the project and work with some tight time and money restrictions and just see what happens. Dive in/ no pressure. Maybe it’s because they were written and recorded quickly, or maybe it’s because I was in a particular frame of mind, but the tone of the EP came out kind of clean, cohesive and optimistic, a little more alt-country and upbeat sounding than previous stuff. “Number One” came together quicker than any song I’ve written, on the spot really. I don’t really know what it’s about but in retrospect it reads like it’s from the point of view of someone in an unhappy open relationship, ha ha! “Make Me Wanna Cry” is my favourite, it’s simple and ponders how to move on.
-The songs blend so well. Is it easy for you to write the songs you wanted to put together on your EP?
I think if the same person or people write, record, perform a group of songs in the same week, they do generally blend or sit together well. James Mannix did the drums for 4 songs in one night, he’d only heard the songs once, and just dove in. I tracked the bass, vocals and most of the guitar at Geoff O’Connor’s little studio and we mixed them in a couple of days, Geoff’s a wiz and I put him under the pump. A long time ago I would have thought “songs x and y are so different, they can’t be played together” but I think now that an individual’s taste, style and performance will always tie their songs together. I don’t worry about sound cohesion or how anything will be interpreted anymore so much anymore. I do labour a bit over tracklisting, I still like listening to a group of songs that flow, to albums and EPs and mixes. I’m old, I don’t shuffle.
-How would you describe the sound on this new album? How does it differ from your last?
Geoff O’Connor recorded this EP and the upcoming album. Prior to working with him I recorded everything myself at home. Geoff’s got some good mics so everything is pretty shiny, for me. I’d say the songs are a bit shorter and straighter.
-What kind of music do you listen to?
I enjoy lots of local Australian music, it’s more fun watching your friends play live too; Old Mate, Wireheads, Peak Twins, Sarah Chadwick, Superstar, Terrible Truths, Mope City, Day Ravies, Scott and Charlene’s Wedding, The Yabbies, Weak Boys. I’m also into the new Tamaryn, Yo La Tengo and No Joy albums.
-What made you want to cover the Rolling Stones “Some Things Just Stick in your Mind”?
I’m not that familiar with the Stones version – I’d originally heard a version by April March years ago and played it solo a lot. I’ve never performed it with a band, but just thought we’d try it for the EP and it came out well! Mannix hadn’t heard it at all before and actually it’s the only song on the EP that the drums were recorded after the guitar. I emailed him a guitar track to a weird dinky keyboard beat and he had to just work out something to fit on his own. Like I said, the EP was written and recorded in a pretty frantic three weeks!
-What song do you hear that makes you wanna dance?
Sarah Chadwick and I got in trouble with our neighbours for dancing (and singing) along to Sheryl Crow the night before we moved out. They could not wait for us to leave.
-What’s up next for Summer Flake?
We’ve recorded an album that should be released early next year. I think the EP has been a great quick experiment, but the album is a labour of love, it took so long. I’m looking forward to playing all these new songs live, we’ve been laying low this year.