Fialta’s Summer Winter Brings You the California Coastlands on July 23
Like that almost-perfect summer vacation, indie pop quartet Fialta’s upcoming LP Summer Winter has plenty of sun and breeze, with a touch of wistful nostalgia. The turn of the seasons are felt not only in Fialta’s literary, winter-dreading lyrics, but also in their buoyant, hooky pop melodies filled with ukulele, clapping, whistling, twinkling bells, and bright keyboards. Exploring the passage of time, life in California, and love at its many stages, Summer Winter (out 7/23) will resonate with listeners who like classic melodies, lush vocals, and incisive storytelling.
Fialta includes David Provenzano, Beth Clements, Michael Leibovich and Sarah Shotwell, four multi-instrumentalist songwriters who met while living in opposite corners of the country before relocating to California’s central coast to make music together. Provenzano (ukulele, guitar) trades off on lead vocals with Clements, who rotates with Leibovich and Shotwell on a variety of instruments including piano, keyboards, percussion, glockenspiel, and synth bass.
Tracked and mixed by Rob Ernst at Noise Root Studio in San Jose and mastered by Troy Glessner (Pedro the Lion, Death Cab for Cutie) at Spectre Studio in Seattle, Summer Winter also features bassist James Trujillo and drummer Jesse Sotelo (Hurricane Roses). The album is thematically focused and melodically coherent, while still showcasing each member’s unique songwriting style. “Though we have four songwriters, the melodies, lyrics, and production created a cohesive album. But it also leaves the listeners on their toes, guessing throughout the record at what, sonically, will come next,” says Leibovich.
Summer Winter brings to mind sounds of youthful summer days spent on the coast, with light-hearted melodies cooled by poignant lyrics and dissonant vocal arrangements. On “Cars,” the sound of a bike bell seems as though it could have been sampled straight from the streets of their small town, while Clements’ airy, mysterious vocals leave room for the emotional intent. “Photographs,” which lyrically mourns the loss of youth, shows the ability of Clements and Provenzano to create palpable energy together. “Baby, I” opens with a whistling, cheering melody as Provenzano convincingly juxtaposes, “Baby, I kill myself for you.”
Given that their name is taken from a Nabokov story, it’s no surprise that literature serves as a primary lyrical inspiration for Fialta. Many songs on Summer Winter engage with works of other writers, interpreting poems and retelling fictional stories, the lines of which often bleed into the members’ own experiences. Fialta will rarely air out their diaries through lyrics, but this does not diminish the value of what they have to say. A line from their song "Cars” states, “The truth owes nothing to the facts.” This embodies the band’s songwriting philosophy: though a story might be fictionalized, it can still contain important understanding. This belief in the simple power of a story well told, along with the influence of a sundrenched existence on California’s central coast, has shaped Fialta’s debut full-length release into a lighthearted yet provocative summer album.