Meet South Summit, the Perth newcomers making heartfelt, yet invigorating indie-rock
The five-piece have already emerged as a favourite of Perth's music scene, but a new single has them on the cusp of something bigger.
If you've been a regular amongst Perth live music venues over the last year, then there's a strong chance that South Summit are a band already on your radar. Despite only forming last year, the five-piece have been quick to solidify themselves as a natural addition to Perth's indie-rock space, playing a couple of big headline shows alongside support slots for Humble Armada, Scream Mountain and a couple of others. They've become ingrained within live music spaces in such a short time that it feels like they've almost been there; their heartfelt indie-rock being an easy fit into the growing next generation emerging from Western Australia.
Likewise, it's something they've been quick to show in recording, too. Earlier this year, they made their entrance with a debut five-track release titled Merlin's, which seemed to showcase the versatility of South Summit's sound and the charming personality that shines throughout their work, regardless of whether it's a song a little more invigorating and up-tempo or whether it's something a little more subtle and emotive, built from the powerful songwriting that became synonymous with the band from their first release.
Now, with Perth well within their grips, South Summit have their eyes on a bigger prize, and their latest single River Days might help get them there. It's a song that feels representative of the South Summit sound and all the detail and intricacies laden within, capturing the heartfelt and deeply personal lyricism of the band as well as the sonic flavourings they communicate that through; River Days being a song that shows South Summit's many dimensions, as they continue to solidify themselves as a complex, multi-faceted outfit.
"River Days is a story about the abuse of alcohol and how it can change the people closest to you," says the band's lead vocalist Zaya. "It is drawn from many personal experiences and deep emotions. The song is an attempt to show the very personal journey I have taken. 'Save me from the river' is a cry for help. Help to be spared from seeing those closest to me change for the worse, help to save them from alcohol and help to stop me from treading the same path."
There's something incredibly powerful within River Days and how they bring the song's incredibly personal themes to life, and after showing that with their debut EP and reinforcing their presence within Perth in the process of doing so, River Day has them on the cusp of a greater national breakthrough - and it's something incredibly exciting to see.
In the meantime, you can catch the band launch the single with a show at Jack Rabbit Slim's on October 15th - find more information about that here - and introduce yourself to the group below. There's a lot to be excited about here:
Tell us about yourself?
The band as it is now (Josh, Nathan, Fynn, Zaya and Nemo) first got together in early 2020 in a big shed on a winery in Darlington. Josh, our bass player was the catalyst as he knew us all from different parts of his life, he brought us together musically and ever since then we have become a tight group of mates.
We’ve been rehearsing, gigging and recording as much as we can, starting with backyard gigs and progressing to live venues in front of sell-out crowds. Music was always a part of each of our lives in different ways and with varying influences, and our music is a sort of collaboration of all of these styles into one sound. We’ve all had so much fun on this journey so far and we can’t wait to see what happens next.
What’s your music like? What does it sound like? What kind of themes does it usually cover?
Our music changes from song to song depending on which one of our different influences and styles comes through the strongest in our writing. We try and tell a story with most of our songs, they are very emotional and dynamic in energy and feel.
People have said that our music is great to listen to in the background on a road trip or driving around town because of the laid back style. But they also like listening deeper into the songs themes and instrumental layers. Our music flows between stripped back groovy R&B with smooth, silky vocal harmonies and a heavy, full alternative rock instrumental sound.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
We have two ways of writing our songs. The first is when one person comes in with an idea, a starting point, which becomes the foundation of the song. Then we build on that together, to add all the other layers like melodies, and to eventually workshop the song as a whole until we come to something we are proud to call our own. The second starts off much more spontaneously. We might feel or hear something during a jam and the song just pops out at us, almost out of nowhere.
Zaya (vocals) likes to write the vocal melody first, using any words he can think of to allow him to do that. Then he builds the theme of the lyrics and the story they tell around his past experiences and the emotion that the music brings.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2021 and beyond?
Our next headliner is the River Days single launch and it will be our biggest gig so far. So we are all working hard on that to make sure it’s in an amazing show. We have a large younger fan base as well, so we want to give them the opportunity to have that experience as well, so we are putting on an all-ages gig in December.
Next year will be the first year that all the members will be free of school, so there will be more time to record and play more live gigs. We are playing our first festival at Nannup in March and we want to more.
Earlier this year we went on a small tour up north, next year we want to head over east and play a few gigs in Sydney and Melbourne. If Covid restrictions are lifted in time.
What do you want people to take away from your work?
We want people to have an insight to our backgrounds and musical influences and interests and to feel part of something. We want them to relate and connect to the music.
When we play live we want people to experience more than just the music, we like to create an atmosphere and an energy where they have a good time and enjoy the show.
Where can we find more of your music?
On all live streaming platforms and YouTube.