Four hours south of Portland, Oregon, the Rogue River flows right through the center of a small municipality called Shady Cove. This is where songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Sarah Rose and Sarah Nienaber, formerly of Candace, recorded the track that would become the name of their new project Shady Cove; this is where, in an unassuming cabin, the two seasoned collaborators began exploring desire’s revolutionary potential and the nomadic impulses borne of creative restlessness and the claustrophobia of city life.
“Summer Days,” the group’s first single, dabbles in muted, homespun psychedelia, putting a contemporary twist on the type of lysergic pastoralism popularized by XTC on Skylarking. Shady Cove’s use of synthesizers suggests orchestral grandeur supported by melodies that are subtle but not subdued. Lyrically, in “Summer Days” the band refuses to shy away from paradox, oscillating between nostalgia’s idyllic detours into the past and the anticipation of something less familiar, perhaps, or somewhere more intuitively known: “Going back to summer days,” and “waiting for summer days” to return.
The meditative new single “Summer Days” from psychedelic dream pop duo Shady Cove is the perfect therapy for the ails of change. The coming of the next season is a harbinger that can bring flashes of inspiration and joy just as easily as anxiety and dread. Shady Cove takes on these themes while blending elements of Yo La Tengo and Animal Collective into a rich, inviting atmosphere.
“There was a warehouse space in Minneapolis, our hometown, that used to throw wild shows back in the day. It had a huge mural of Jesus with his arms wide open on the side of the building facing the freeway. The mural might still be there. We would wander through halls and stairways and find a different band and a different party in each room. Sometimes we imagine our past selves frozen where we’ve been, haunting the old spots. Our ghosts are probably still watching the sun come up on the roof of that old building,” says the duo about the track.