Sleepy Turtles' 'Summer Hither'

Sleepy Turtles' 'Summer Hither'

If the name "Sleepy Turtles" calls forth images of a slow-moving, southern way of life, then the Atlanta, GA quintet has made their point. The 6-track EP, Summer Hither (5/29/12, Autumn + Colour Records), channels traditional story telling elements of folk through simple lyrics and seamless harmonies. 

Beginning with the kick drum-accompanied title track, cascading harmonies create a reverberating Simon & Garfunkel feel that resonates throughout the album. There is a hymnal quality to many of the tracks, specifically on “Morning Song," which begins with the line, “Open your eyes, oh rosy dawn and stretch your fingers to the sky / The night will come before you know / Don't let the day pass you by.” 

Fans of Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver will recognize a similar lilt and cadence in Sleepy Turtles, most notably in the closing track, “Being Small.” This song is also the most lyrically complex, as it tells a nostalgic tale of brothers growing up together, with one member singing “Brothers in the backseat / Pinning you down and using my feet / Things begin to complicate / Things begin to run away / The years fly by and all the little things evaporate.” The full vocal range of Sleepy Turtles can be heard in “Reason To Hope," with its melancholy darkness serving as a sharp contrast to the generally upbeat nature of the remainder of the EP. 

With powerful folk and gospel undertones and an earnest twang, Summer Hither paints a musical portrait of banjos being picked on creaky rocking chairs in a sleepy, one-horse town--or maybe a church. No new territory, but perfectly charming nonetheless.

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