Athough “drone” has a rather negative connotation – redolent of a professor speaking in a monotone, or a soulless object trolling the earth – I was recently disabused of that notion when I had the opportunity to listen to Summer Homes. A yoga mat would’ve been the perfect accessory to the slow, meditative tones that ushered in relaxing nostalgia.

The droning and ambient eight-track solo album, written by local artist Daniel Radin, is a love letter to the Boston suburb of Newton that is his hometown. “I have always felt there is a quiet energy to Boston suburbs, especially at night,” Radin said. “Nocturnes is my attempt to capture some of that energy along with the feelings tied to the places that were important to my upbringing.”

In his homemade, bedroom-based studio, Radin was able to freely extemporize musically. While recording “Saint Paul’s,” Radin discovered an organ effect which reminded him of attending church with his mother and hearing the grandness of the organ. He reminisced about “hearing the way the sound floated in the air for a split second after a hymn was over.” Likewise, “Saint Paul” builds like a developing memory and pulses like quick moving feet on an organ’s foot pedals. It’s reminiscent of of a distant airplane at times: audible yet far away, much like memory. Each song is labeled after a place or memory from Newton, and functions to acknowledge the time spent there. When asked to describe the album without using traditional genre labels, Radin described the songs as “Sound paintings of night memories.”

Daniel Radin: “There were a few places I revisited when filming the Summer Homes music video that brought back memories. Especially a billboard my friends and I used to climb on summer nights.”

Radin wrote, recorded and mixed the entire album independently, which is much different from the process for his previous musical collaborations: The Novel Ideas and Future Teens. “There was something very soothing about holing up in my room and just creating without too much logical thought going into it. It was a nice reminder that there are multiple ways to create, all valid, just different,” Radin said.

Radin’s range in genres demonstrates a versatility in musical expression. “Sometimes I’m in the mood to write a sad folk song about heartbreak, sometimes I’m in the mood to write a dumb song about wanting to be friends with Jennifer Lawrence, and sometimes I want to make something about my childhood or a place that makes me feel nostalgic. I’d like to think that all these outlets are distinctly me and just represent different aspects of my personality.”

Radin’s wrapped in preparations for new releases from his two other bands, but a long-form version of Summer Homes is set to be released in a few months, which is meant for accompanying sleep or meditation. Think “Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon” and “Stars of the Lid’s December Hunting for Vegetarian Fuckface,” said Radin. In the meantime, we’ll be losing ourselves in Summer Homes’ Nocturnes. Join us below:

One Response

  1. Maxwell Mutua

    Reading this is great ” Sound painting of night memories” That’s using artistic description and it comes from deep inside him. Its great to be talented. Long live Music, long live great artists


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