Sons of Summer
- Article by: Cameron Duke; Photos by Donnie Hedden
- Posted: 09/02/2011
Monday, August 29, Australia-to-Nashville transplants Sons of Summer sweetly serenaded an eager and excited 12th & Porter crowd.
Members Clint Crighton, Jules Crighton and Luke Dolahenty have crafted a sound that is equally reminiscent of The Mamas & the Papas and Bob Dylan. Their three-part harmonies, paired with dreamy lyrics, are as chill-inducing as they are addictive.
While fairly new to the scene (the band is a little more than a year old), they’ve been able to attract a very loyal audience with their heartfelt, soothing, road-worn sound that they perfected over six months in China playing almost every night.
“I think the main thing with our band is that we just focus on getting the song across with as little gimmick as possible,” says Clint. “Just sing it, play it organically from the writing stage to the listener hearing it. We want as little interference as possible.”
Sons of Summer’s music is as organic as can be. Nothing seems forced, and both their songs and onstage personalities are completely honest. Clint seems introspective as he plays, not moving much but conveying a sense of emotion that always lends itself to the performance.
Jules dances between Clint and Luke in a very freeform way like a tree swaying gently in the breeze – highlighting the band’s late 60s era folk sound. Luke is fun to watch as he headbangs enthusiastically to their faster songs and always looks like he’s having fun.
The band’s 12th & Porter set began with “Unborn,” a song from their upcoming debut album. The lyrics are so natural that it’s impossible not to feel every word as if your own soul is the source from which these songs flow. Couple that with floating, at times abstract, melodies that massage your brain, and you have some truly powerful and potentially timeless songs.
Sons of Summer’s tunes varied in mood from the reflective “Sunhill Drive” to the energetic “Damage” to the folky “Fields of Flowers” to the poppy “You’re the One I Love the Most” and then to “Summer is a Part of You” with it’s ever-intensifying build.
“The songs take a bit of a journey,” says Clint. “You write them, you record them, but nothing really matters until you play them on stage and people react to them.”
Even for a band that stands up as well acoustically as Sons of Summer, it obviously doesn’t hurt to have as solid a foundation as drummer Matt Sherrod and David LaBruyere on bass to round out the sound and provide added energy and experience to the group.
Their ability to go with the flow was evident when the set finished and the crowd demanded an encore. Clint called a good friend out of the audience to play guitar on a cover of “Goodbye” by the Australian band Cold Chisel. The band was completely unrehearsed, but caught on so quickly you would never have known.