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Summer Fiction

Summer Fiction — Himalaya (June 16th, 2015)

                        Summer Fiction — Himalaya Summer Fiction — Himalaya (June 16th, 2015)•≈  Lush, orchestrated indie pop project from Philadelphia singer/songwriter Bill Ricchini.
•≈  With its Brian Wilson–like melodic levity and Johnny Marr–influenced guitar jangle, Summer Fiction’s “Perfume Paper” is — without being too on–the–nose — every bit as warm weather–friendly as you’d expect it to be. This earnest lack of pretension is what makes the Brooklyn–based project — comprised solely of singer–songwriter Bill Ricchini — so effortlessly engaging.
•≈  A few weeks out from releasing his sophomore effort, Himalaya, Ricchini all but rolls out the red carpet (or is it green AstroTurf?) to summer on “Perfume Paper,” which skips merrily down the beach with lush, sun–dappled melodies, an easy, mid–tempo rhythm, and plenty of cause to kick your shoes off and roll the car windows down. — Rachel Brodsky, SPIN // May 6, 2015               
Formed: 2010 in Philadelphia, PA
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Album release: June 16, 2015
Record Label: Summer Fiction
Duration:     39:38
01. On and On      3:22
02. Dirty Blonde      4:25
03. Perfume Paper      3:06
04. Himalaya      2:24
05. Lauren Lorraine      3:03
06. Genevieve      3:30
07. Religion of Mine      4:24
08. Manchester      2:24
09. By My Side      3:13
10. Cathedral      2:33
11. Perfume Paper Demo (Bonus)      2:12
12. Dirty Blonde Demo (Bonus)      2:02
13. Lauren Lorraine Instrumental (Bonus)      3:00
℗ 2015 Summer Fiction
© 2015 Burn Brightly Music (BMI)
•   All songs written by Bill Ricchini
•   Produced by BC Camplight and Bill Ricchini
•   Arranged by BC Camplight and Bill Ricchini
•   Bill Ricchini — lead and background vocals, guitars, percussion, string, woodwind and vocal arrangements
•   BC Camplight — pianos, synths, organs, glockenspiel, percussion, background vocals on “On and On” and “Dirty Blonde”
•   Alex Yaker — bass, nylon string guitar, piano on “Manchester”
•   Justin DiFebbo — Wurlitzer, Hammond, Farfisa
•   Adam "Monkey" Dawson — drums, percussion
•   Henry Broadhead — drum machine, tape loops
•   Jonathan Prestbury — lead electric guitar, 12 string
•   Eric Stephenson — cello
•   Cody Geil — violin
•   Andrew Lesser — clarinet
•   Engineered by Henry Broadhead
•   Mixed by Geoff Sanoff
•   Mastered by Joe Lambert
•   Recorded at Eve Studios, Manchester, UK
•   Additional engineering by Martin King, Justin DiFebbo, Dave Yang, Devin Greenwood and Pat Noon
•   Sleeve by Brian Wible
•   Cover photo is a self–portrait by Marianna Santikou                     
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger;  Score: ****
•≈   When singer/songwriter Bill Ricchini debuted his Summer Fiction project in 2011, he was lauded as a classic pop architect in the mold of Brian Wilson, the Left Banke’s Michael Brown, and a number of other ‘60s–era maestros with a flair for melody and lush arrangements. At times playful, but often with a pervading sense of sweet melancholia, his songs have a metered kind of jangle that tends to downplay their sophistication. His 2015 follow–up LP, Himalaya, begins right where its predecessor left off with "On and On," an appealing pop gem that could easily be a cousin of first album standout "She's Bound to Get Hurt." Like the iconic hitmakers of yesteryear, Ricchini knows to put the catchiest tracks up front, stacking the deck with two more album highlights in "Dirty Blonde" and "Perfume Paper," both rife with big melodies, rich harmonies, and loads of 12–string charm. At this point, Himalaya begins to stretch out a bit, with slower, piano–led instrumental tracks like the title cut and "Manchester" acting as moody chamber pop interludes between songs the Pet Sounds–leaning "Genevieve" and the wistful, almost Morrissey–esque "Religion of Mine." A late album standout is the understated, folky "By My Side," which feels more in line with mid–'60s Simon & Garfunkel than the West Coast pop Ricchini frequently gravitates toward. While his debut was strictly a one–man vision, Himalaya has a co–pilot in the form of like–minded British popsmith Brian Christinzio, better known as B.C. Camplight, who co–produced and supplied many of the album's keyboard parts and ornamentations. Camplight's own Beach Boys–indebted third album arrived earlier in the year and together, he and Ricchini formed a sort of transatlantic retro–pop dream team. While the music of Summer Fiction inevitably recalls a bygone era, this type of highly crafted pop never goes out of style.
•≈  “Thought of you as my mountaintop/thought of you as my peak.” — Lou Reed
•≈  It’s approaching 3 am and Bill Ricchini aka Summer Fiction isn’t on the windswept beach his moniker may suggest. He’s in a dank basement echo chamber at Eve Studios — a 200–year old country house/recording studio just North of Manchester, UK. His wordless “oohs” bounce off the cinderblock walls overdubbing a tricky vocal harmony part Brian Wilson, part Jeff Lynn. A jangly guitar chimes in channeling Johnny Marr — born just a few miles away.
•≈  It’s been over 4 years since Ricchini’s self–titled debut as Summer Fiction was released to praise from New York Magazine, Vogue, NPR, KCRW, Magnet, and other admirers. In that time, Ricchini moved from South Philadelphia to Brooklyn and took songwriting trips to Mexico and the Pacific Northwest.
•≈  Ricchini also went through a rough spot during that time, losing two close family members to illness. Soon after, he saw the disintegration of his parents’ 40–year marriage. In the months that followed, he found himself writing songs that felt different. These were not love songs but they were about love and longing, often focusing on romantic and religious obsession. Songs that examined the idea of lover as deity and explored the broken and beautiful aspects of his own relationships
•≈  Ricchini approached long time collaborator and UK transplant Brian Christinzio (BC Camplight) to co–produce the new Summer Fiction record, titled Himalaya. Arrangements were made and Ricchini camped out at Manchester’s Eve Studios for two weeks that chilly spring shaping the songs: “the Big Star meets The La’s power pop of “Perfume Paper,” the smiley pet sounds carousel of “Lauren Lorraine,” the Nilsson/Bacharach melodic songcraft of “Religion of Mine,” the icy fingerpicked ballad “By My Side.”
•≈  Himalaya was mixed in Brooklyn by Grammy–winning engineer Geoff Sanoff and mastered by Joe Lambert (The National, Sharon Van Etten, Deerhunter, Panda Bear).
•≈  Ricchini’s songs have appeared in films such as The Fault in Our Stars, Safety Not Guaranteed and television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy.
•≈  “Brilliant 60′s–esque AM pop.” — New York Magazine
•≈  “Lovely, bookish songs.” — Vogue
•≈  “World–weary yet heartwarming summer pop that sounds good anytime of year.” — NPR
•≈  “Perfect pop melodies and arrangements that may remind you of Pet Sounds–era Beach Boys.” — WNYC
•≈  “Wistfully demur on the surface, delving into everyday matters of the heart with a icy pair of forceps, leaving all manner of collateral damage in its wake. ” — Magnet
•≈  “Charmingly catchy heartache meets sun–kissed disenchantment.” — The Philadelphia Inquirer
•≈  “One of our favorite discoveries this year.” — KCRW
•≈  “Bill Ricchini has a splendid way with a melody that recalls the Beach Boys and The Left Banke. In the grand tradition of great pop tunesmiths he’s sometimes puzzled by the ways of the human heart, but you can imagine him getting a girl worth having.” — All Music Guide
Website: http://summerfiction.com/home/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/summerfiction
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SummerFiction?_rdr
Bandcamp: http://summerfiction.bandcamp.com/album/himalaya

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