The Shrubs – “Summer Sun”


“Summer Sun” is a hypnotic, psychedelic track from The Shrubs, the Houston-based band who impressed prior with the track “Walking through Walls” in January.

“‘Summer Sun’ was built around a drum beat that Josh came up with,” says one half of The Shrubs’ duo, Miguel. “I just so happened to be recording him at the time, I listened to the track later on and just loved how loose and free the percussion was, so I just started playing guitar along to it… and it seemed to write itself. I wrote the lyrics as a sort of dark homage to the short sighted nature of addiction to hard drugs.”

The release marks the first time The Shrubs brought in additional musicians. Prominently, the sitar playing from Martin Soto adds an immersive, hypnotic pull throughout. Alongside a full string quartet in addition, the track’s vibrant psychedelic production grips throughout, propelled further by the enchanting “in the summer sun,” vocal refrain. “Summer Sun” is an invigorating, trippy success from The Shrubs.

Miguel elaborates further on the track, below:

“It isn’t really meant to be a warning or celebration of that really, moreso a “on location” reporting of that particular lifestyle….I don’t think it’s very evident what it’s about lyrically I suppose, unless you already know. The first line “I stood in the doorway,” is about being hesitant to continue, like you know it’s bad, you see your friends get “cut down” and you know one day it’ll happen to you too, and you’re aware you should stop, but you don’t really want to!”

“In order to fully realize the sounds I was hearing in my head, this is the first track where we brought in a few outside musicians, including a sitar player (Martin Soto) and a full string quartet! It was a very fast recording process, generally it takes us weeks of work for every track, but this one really flowed out from day one.”

“As for influences…I would say there are obvious elements of Indian classical music, but I never really enjoyed those old ‘60s songs that made use of a sitar except for Paint it Black, it being the only one I can recall that has a fast tempo. I’ve always wanted to write a song that featured a sitar but in a context that wasn’t hackneyed and without a lot of the pseudo spiritual baggage that western musicians always seem to attach to it! The second half of the song, which you could characterize as the “happy” part, is a sorta grim acceptance…if I’m gonna do it, might as well enjoy life while it lasts!”

This track and others featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of August 2022’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Psychedelic Rock.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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