Eternal Summers' third proper record, <i>The Drop Beneath</i>, is one of those albums that makes you glad you've been following a band. The development is so satisfying.
This record sounds cleaner than anything the now-trio has done before. They've turned down the fuzz while still doing some near-shoegazey stuff with effects pedals. They've always been good songwriters, and the clarity on this record accentuates that.
One of the loveliest but sometimes uncomfortable things about <i>The Drop Beneath</i> is Eternal Summers' seeming restraint. It's like these songs — particularly “100” or “A Burial” — <i>could </i>knock you over, but they're holding back. You hear much more of Nicole Yun's light vocals than the guitar riffs behind them, though they clearly have the potential to crush if they were brought up in the mix. The effect of this balance is a very pretty indie rock record with teeth. (And sometimes you wish it would bite.)
There are a couple lighter moments. “Never Enough” has a sunny girl-group vibe, until it starts to thrash near the end. “Until The Day I Won” is the Eternal Summers' version of a ballad, and while the guitars are clear and quiet and the drumming measured, Yun pushes her voice more than we're used to.
It feels like Yun, drummer Daniel Cundiff and bassist Jonathan Woods have officially found their comfort zone, and it's not in a complacent kind of way. <i>The Drop Beneath</i> shows a band that knows what it's good at.