Written by Teyquil Skelton
The Austin, Texas-based indie-pop duo, Summer Salt, has been keeping busy this spring and summer with their debut album, Sequoia Moon, which was released on June 25.
When I had the opportunity to speak with Matthew Terry and Eugene Chung of Summer Salt about their album, I jumped at the chance. The duo’s latest record is out right now and it is absolutely beautiful from beginning to end.
Now that the record has been released, the pair are busier than ever, so I was honored that they took time out of their hectic day to speak with me. I first asked about the big launch.
“It has been awesome to see something we’ve been working on for so long now out in the world for others to hear, it feels good,” explained Terry and Chung.
The duo’s first single, “Hocus Pocus,” is a track about having the possibility to make amends with a loved one.
“With breakups, it’s hard because there’s so much that’s left unsaid. The peace that was once shared between both people has now been interrupted. No longer do you and that person see eye to eye, and so things change, and the temperature shifts as the relationship draws near,” Terry explained.
Terry continued about how there is a villain in every person’s story, and in this case, he is that villain to someone he once knew and loved. He explained that when there is tension present, it is difficult to show your new self, and how you’ve grown during a time when you’ve been in a relationship. Much of your hard work gets lost along the way as the ‘moving-on’ process begins.
The track, “Hocus Pocus,” was created to speak that very thing and how missed opportunities to say what you need to say can end up becoming silenced, as the words you want to convey get left behind, never to be heard of at all.
“It hurts not being able to speak on your behalf,” Chung began. “and closing the book on terms you can live with.” He also added that “looking past the separation allows one to see the turning of a new leaf.”
Summer Salt‘s musical journey began in 2014 when the duo released a track titled “Driving To Hawaii” and during those times the boys were a bit radical to a degree. But the experience has helped them realize their capabilities, Chung answered, and not only realize them but also at a level that people can enjoy and appreciate.
The duo never imagined that they’d be creating music that people would want to hear, but now that they are doing it, it has changed their lives for the better, creatively and musically. Terry also added that he wasn’t expecting to get such a huge response that the band has now, but is grateful to the masses for making it all possible.
The album’s title, Sequoia Moon, came to Terry during a recent trip to California. The word ‘sequoia‘ means ‘redwood tree‘ and in the state of California, you’ll find these beautiful, tall standing statures in nature. He was inspired by the natural beauty and architecture that the state has to offer. The creative beginnings for Sequoia Moon came from the trip, and though, the ‘redwood’ was not the only thing that ignited the band’s creativity, I’m sure it played a big part in activating the engine to the project body.
As the interview winded down, we talked about the contributions that help to make this album what it is and one of them is the wondrous works of audio engineer, Phil Ek (Modest Mouse, Mudhoney, Built to Spill, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes). “So what is it like to be on the list of that caliber of extraordinary artists?” I ask.
Chung says, “It is a dream to be listed as one of Phil Ek (Modest Mouse, Mudhoney, Built to Spill, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes)’s projects of artists he’s worked with and just being named alongside other bands that both we listen to on the regular.”
They feel they are blessed to be where they are now.
I ask, “What was the one thing you walked away with working with Phil Ek?”
They say that he told them, “don’t try to perfect everything, but do the best you can in creating.”
Before we went our separate ways, I ended the interview by asking what are their favorite tunes on the album.
“All of the songs have something special to say and that they all play a major role in both of their lives, so there isn’t one song, in particular, they like most,” Chung explained.
If you’re looking to step away from normalcy for a second, this record offers that freedom; a new way of thinking, and seeing the world from a new set of lenses and perspectives on a much broader scale.
Check out Sequoia Moon on all social media platforms. It is a must-have in your playlist.
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