Paying homage to where their love for music truly bloomed, indie-pop outfit Summer Salt’s dreamy track “Palm Tree on Avenue G” fills you up with warm and fuzzy vibes.
Showcasing serene arrangements and honeyed vocals, this breezy song oozes with soft, sunny feels. Now the band has unveiled the imaginative video.
The visuals pop with creativity and color. Made through accumulating the artwork of over 100 fans, each illustration gives the viewer a unique look into the inspired minds of their ardent supporters. Fusing art and music to craft the eccentric offering, their goal was to build a space for others to bond through these intense and trying times.
Based out of Austin, Texas, the group is known for their soothing vocals and bright, joyful soundscapes. Blending elements of 1960s pop, Bossa Nova and jazz, their eclectic sound makes them stand out in the indie music scene. The harmonious pair has obtained a dedicated following through their nostalgic, summery tunes.
COLLiDE interviewed Summer Salt, discussing their new enchanting video, connection to their fans and more.
“Palm Tree on Avenue G” is a charming and laid-back offering, what is the inspiration behind this infectious, wistful tune?
When we wrote “Palm Tree on Avenue G” we were still discovering our sound and almost to the point of recording “Driving to Hawaii.” Most of the songs we were doing for Summer Salt had a pop/upbeat or beach ballad nature to them and so we kinda passed this song by.
I (Matt) was writing and recording lots of folk songs at this time that I wasn’t ever sure would be used for Summer Salt, but more as a leisurely hobby fun thing. I think the touch of minors and wistfulness are definitely intentional with splashes of hopefulness, which is exactly how we were all feeling at this point in our lives; the beginning of our adulthood, harsh and exciting!
The visuals for “Palm Tree on Avenue G” displays artwork from over 100 fans. How did you come up with this concept for the video and what was the process like when putting the artwork together?
Throughout the past three years in touring we’ve gathered so many pieces of fan art as gifts after shows, and would have to say this is one of our favorite things. Sometimes they’re paintings, cookies, mini sculptures, we’ve even be given Morton (summer) Salt on a few occasions, and one of my favorite that I keep in my office is a lucky rock with a face painted on it!
Anyway… This is our inspiration behind the concept. We think this is such a special thing that fans do to keep the band culture alive and mirrored. Being in a pandemic we thought it would also be cool just to get fans involved who may be aching for something fun to be a part of.
After that, we gathered a team to put it in the works including myself, Eugene, our manager Anna, and our dear friend from ATX, Taylor Miles. Eugene and I created, with Taylor’s guidance, a timeline for the video. After that, Tay started lots of line work and individual frames for each scene and assigned each individual artist a piece that best fit their style with instructions and a timeline.
We also created a section of the video for those artists who were more fit for stop motion, which gave it some nice unique and quirky transitions throughout the video. It took about 2-3 months for the whole collab to be finished! Lots of handwork from everyone and it just turned out beautifully. We are forever thankful!
Your fans did an amazing job with the scenes they were assigned. Was there one in particular that really stood out to you?
We really love them all! I would have to say one that really gets me or first comes to mind is probably the palm trees close to the end where the sky is changing from night to morning. It’s a very breezy delicate and colorful part of the video and really goes nicely with the wistful instrumentals.
Your goal with the visuals was to bring people together through this creative outlet. How has this helped you to stay connected to your fans through these difficult times?
After the video we did a zoom call and had a hangout and Q&A. It was so nice to see people from all over the world and to see names with faces, as well as to hear them say that this has been a nice break with everything going on in the world. We would love to continue to stay in touch with everyone who was involved in the video however we can and will continue to find ways!
As for the fans themselves, I know that this has brought a lot of them together and created a nice sense of community. Also many fans are still in touch with Tay on continuing work and collabs with visual art.
On the topic of creative outlets, are there any projects you have taken on, besides your music, to help get through these uncertain times?
Outside of music I would say we take pride and joy in our family lives. Other than that, Euji fishes in the mornings and plays basketball.
I love running, drawing illustrating, cooking, and Zelda.
Summer Salt is known for their cheery and tropical indie style. How has being based in Austin, TX influenced your unique sound?
I wouldn’t say its had the biggest influence on our sound. Though Austin’s a beautiful place and we have a deep love for the outdoors, hill country and Texas; deep down we’re pretty big hermits when it comes to writing and in general. I think the writing is pretty close to our feelings, home and personal lives.
The group was originally formed during your senior year of high school, how did the two of you meet and how has your longstanding friendship grown throughout your musical journey?
Eugene and I continue to become closer and closer as the years go on. It’s a pretty inseparable bond at this point. We met when we were sixteen and naturally just became pretty close. Very kindred right off the bat. We’ve definitely grown in to our own throughout the years between. Hopefully we’ll keep doing this for as long as we can sing and play!
Lastly, what’s next for the band?
We are in the studio right now recording our second album! This is probably our first real studio experience so we are incredibly excited for what’s to come!
Check out the visuals for “Palm Tree on Avenue G” below:
Photo by: Andrew Reiner