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Summer Hymns

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Biography

Athens, Georgia (1997 – present)

Athens, Georgia’s Summer Hymns arose in 1997 from singer/guitarist Zachary Gresham’s desire to find an outlet for material that did not seem suited for a typical rock band. Zachary had a collection of ideas, some of which were simple chord progressions, others of which were melodies he had not put words to. These rudimentary structures were often based on experiences as a boy at his grandmother’s house in rural Georgia, learning to play piano and singing hymns, traditional ballads and folk songs. Zachary took this early inspiration and fused it with his newer musical obsessions, ranging from older icons like Robert Wyatt and Neil Young to more contemporary groups such as Yo La Tengo and Smog. Zachary’s desire to fulfill a musical vision became clearer and the concept for the Summer Hymns was born.

With long-time collaborator Phillip Brown on drums, Zachary assembled the first version of Summer Hymns with members of fellow Athens bands Elf Power, of Montreal and Masters Of The Hemisphere. Following an acclaimed single on the Made In Mexico label, Summer Hymns’ first album Voice Brother and Sister was released on Misra Records in the spring of 2000. This full-length debut is a gorgeous, hazy, psychedelic work that owes as much to Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music as it does to Robert Wyatt’s classic Rock Bottom.

Following a short tour, Summer Hymns recorded their sophomore full-length A Celebratory Arm Gesture. While Voice Brother and Sister was built from endless layers of overdubs, A Celebratory Arm Gesture relies more on considered orchestration and crafted arrangements.

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  • jonnyrice

    So so great. Also checkout their first incarnation Joe Christmas. Love these guys and their sound.

    2 Nov 2011 Reply
  • occupieddog

    a hidden gem! glad I found out about them, such wonderful music :)

    28 Aug 2011 Reply
  • SeriousMustache

    i just read pitchfork fucked this band so i'm gonna give em a go

    9 Sep 2010 Reply
  • nooneastern

    such a great band ... i wonder where they are now ..?!?!

    13 Oct 2009 Reply
  • bananademon

    Such a sweet band with a sweet sound. I love them.

    28 Nov 2007 Reply
  • heyjohnnyfive

    Joe Christmas was amazing, now I need to get around to listening to the new band.

    19 Sep 2007 Reply
  • fadeintoyou_

    that makes two Sarah s showing love for summer hymns.

    21 Jul 2007 Reply
  • THESuperSarah

    These guys are so good. No one is showing them any love on the shoutbox. awww :(

    1 Jul 2007 Reply

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