Much like the mystical illustration found on their self-titled debut album, Silver Summit is a collision of heaven and earth, fire and water; both bewitching and beautiful. The Brooklyn-based group is a song-writing partnership between longtime friends and multi-instrumentalists, Sondra Sun-Odeon and David Shawn Bosler. Their captivating entrance appears this Summer on Language of Stone, a new imprint of heralded indie label Drag City. Working with noted engineer-producer and folk songwriter Greg Weeks (Espers, Valerie Project) at his Philly studio Hexham Head, Silver Summit co-produced these dense and lysergic tunes with Weeks over two weeks in the late summer of 2007, while mixing was handled by Brian McTear at Miner Street Studios.
The varied and hard-to-peg songs meld such diverse influences as British-folk finger-style guitar (they give a dark and otherworldly spin on Bert Jansch’s “Wishing Well”), Peking opera (“Awaken”), Roma/gypsy folk (“Fool’s Love”), Turkish saz riffs (“Water’s Edge”), metal and shoegaze atmospherics (“The Door”), and Middle-Eastern accents and rhythms: Weird and seemingly incoherent, it all coalesces into a singularly-envisioned whole.
After reconnecting in the fall of 2006?fittingly, at an Espers show in Brooklyn, NY?Sun-Odeon and Bosler found they both wanted to start new musical endeavors and explore the quieter, more sublime and psychedelic sides of their musical personae.
Sun-Odeon, a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, grew up taping classical music pieces off the radio and sneaking a hand held transistor radio into bed to listen to beneath the sheets. Her past includes drumming and playing guitar in severalnoise rock bands in D.C. and, over these years, recording quiet meditations for voice and guitar. Not until Silver Summit did she find an appropriate time and place for these quieter explorations and an avenue for developing her enchanting, multi-dimensional voice. Lyrics are sometimes in different languages, sometimes invented, and are inspired by everything from Chinese cult-fantasy films to metaphysical and religious journals to communions with Mother Nature and death.
For Bosler, Silver Summit had its origins nearly 10 years ago while living in Portland, Oregon: Here he first explored finger-style guitar (he was fortunate enough to study with finger-style godfather John Fahey), studied Roma/gypsy folk music, and honed his compositional skills in his avant-classical guitar and string combo, Mercurium. He works as a film score composer, music supervisor, and writer-here he documents his unashamed passion for extreme-metal and noise bands. Appropriately, in Silver Summit you can hear traces from Bosler’s metallic musical past.
Silver Summit combine their love for folk music of the world with contemporary melancholic and psychedelic sounds (later this year they are set to appear on the Cure tribute album Perfect As Cats alongside Blonde Redhead, Bat For Lashes, Cocorosie and others). Much like the haunting and ethereal album closer “The Bridge,” Silver Summit’s earnest and captivating self-titled record bridges unexpected musical realms of light and darkness, and yet the effect is at once, dark, joyous and hopeful.