With You Tonight is the latest album from “underground supergroup” Summer Moon: a group led on vocals and bass by The Strokes’ Nikolai Fraiture. Their Facebook page states that Summer Moon is a Music and Arts collective which currently features Camila Grey of Uh Huh Her on keyboards and vocals, Noah Harmon of The Airborne Toxic Event on guitar and Jane’s Addiction’s Stephen Perkins on drums. The line-up fluctuates; the group have also featured Au Revoir’s Simone’s Erika Spring on keyboards, Lewis Lazar on guitar, and Like’s Tennessee Thomas on drums.
The sounds are as eclectic and interesting as one would expect from such a project: surprisingly easy to listen to. Fraiture describes how this evolved:
“There wasn’t any set plan at any point, which was a very liberating and exciting way for me to work. Of course, discipline is necessary in order to complete anything in that setting, but it did allow the songs to change and evolve the way they needed to; becoming a living, breathing thing.”
And the songs do breathe. There’s an energy in the tracks that emanate from the drums that just makes you want to dance. Perkins has always been one of my favourite drummers: dextrous and nimble he flutters around the kit hypnotically and is supported with digital effects and percussion. Fraiture states:
“My main goal for the album was to find the perfect balance between a classic feel with modern tones and textures. Most of the time, a live drummer is instrumental to the overall feel. But other times, a more programmed vibe is called for. And occasionally, the two make a perfect couple.”
Fraiture’s bass helps drive the rhythms through rock and electro pop, post-punk and dance; synth chords add depth and atmosphere and without warning guitars burst into beautiful overdrive. There really seems to be a free spirited nature to the writing on the album and it’s evident in the diversity of the tracks.
Opening track ‘Happening’ is a percussive pleasure evoking New Order, The Killers and The Strokes. Fraiture’s vocal melody floats dreamily across an eager bassline and a cacophony of cowbells. The latest single, ‘With You Tonight’, has been released with an interactive video that reflects the bohemia of the New York art collective Fraiture has endeavoured to form. This track feels slightly darker in tone than Happening with a melancholy string arrangement underpinning the instrumental sections. I love the arrangement of the songs; some songs are short and to the point like in rocker ‘Class A’ and other tracks such as ‘Walk Out Music’ drift along dreamily; there’s a hint of Pink Floyd in this album closer- something summery, something after-dark, something neon and tranquil.
I really enjoy the familiarity in the sound of Summer Moon but I love that there’s also something innovative and modern pulling me back again and again for frequent revisits. I’d love to see them live; I’ll make sure I’ve got my dancing shoes on.
I'm a reader, teacher, listener, musician and now writer living and sometimes working in Newcastle.
I've taught English Language and Literature in High Schools for 10 years and hold a PGCE, B.A and MA in English, English Teaching and Media.
I'm a musician and write songs and perform for So What Robot.
My aim with this blog is to become a better writer and communicate my own opinions whilst developing and discovering a writing style of my own.