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In our profile of Release the Sunbird, mastermind Zach Schwartz revealed that the band came to be as an exercise in trying to get in touch with his muse, and that the band recorded an abundance of material that didn’t happen to see light of day. A few months after their excellent debut comes this six-song EP, and very rarely has “more of the same” served to be the best thing to say about a new band. This collection contains a few of the leftovers from those sessions, but they’re quality tunes. Two of these songs, the dreamy country-folk rocker, “I Will Walk” and the downbeat “Silence,” were recorded after having toured with his band, and they find Release the Sunbird coming into their own. Also worth noting is the jaunty “Heart Skinned, Down,” which features some great picking and some heavenly singing. But the hands-down best song on Imaginary Summer is the closing track, a cover of Talking Heads “Road to Nowhere,” which Schwartz and crew turn into a beautiful coulda-been-an-outtake from Paul Simon‘s Graceland. Opening with gorgeous harmonies that turn into a wonderful roots-rocker, with teasing interplay between Schwartz and it’s a testament to a band’s talent when they can turn a cover into something that sounds oh-so original. While the state of Rogue Wave may be uncertain, Imaginary Summer is a reassuring concession to a continuum of its creator’s talents.
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