(Photo Credit - Andrew Reiner)
The Juniper Songbook is an exciting new release from Austin, TX's Summer Salt. It features eight tracks from across Summer Salt's career reimagined and also includes two new tracks for fans. About the new tracks Matthew Terry (vocalist/guitarist) said via press release: "I think we’ve grown as musicians and we really wanted to take the opportunity to challenge ourselves and see our songs in a different light or just with recording outside of our comfort zone and bedrooms...” It's important to note that these tracks are not simply acoustically reimagined tunes. In fact "Clover (Juniper Version)" features dynamic electrical guitar work that is vastly different from the original.
At times, more slowly paced, at others dynamic, The Juniper Songbook takes a good sample of the band's work and turns it on it's head. One thing that shines in particular on the album is Terry's vocal work. The first new track on the album, "Hideaway" features ethereal vocals accompanied by gentle piano and what almost feels like jazz style (at points) drumming. The guitar in the track doesn't overpower, especially the leads. This one is a real winner. "One Cup of Coffee" is more surf rock oriented, but a tad gentler than traditional music of that genre. Of the two originals, I feel that "Hideaway" is the stronger track.
The Juniper Songbook is going to be a must have for Summer Salt fans. I like what they have done with their tracks, but I don't know that there's a Juniper version that I would take over the original and I'm not saying that as a bad thing. All the Juniper versions are strong in their own right, but I'm just such a fan of their more indie oriented tracks. But there will certainly be those that prefer the Juniper versions, they're just that strong. This is definitely recommended listening.
Rating - 4/5