California Snow Story – One Good Summer EP

California Snow Story
One Good Summer EP

Whenever I think of Scotland, I think of the wet, cold, foggy weather. The last time I was there it rained the whole time. Okay, I was only there two days, but still. Most of the music I listen to that has been made by Scots reflects their “harsh” environment. Take, for example, Travis. It’s always raining on Fran Healy, and he doesn’t sound the least bit surprised. Another Scottish group, Belle & Sebastian, is the last band I would suggest to a borderline depressed friend. All of the UK seems damp and dreary. Many of the better bands from the island seem to revel in their weather-induced melancholy. Which is why I was suprised by California Snow Story. The group also hails from Scotland (Glasgow), but apart from the accents, you would never know. One Good Summer is the debut from this surprisingly lighthearted quartet. With song titles like “Summer Avenues” and “Snow in Summer,” it doesn’t feel necessary to sum up the group’s sound. But I will, just in case.
Think Stuart Murdoch and Co. on low doses of anti-depressants, just enough to get rid of the cynicism. While the song “Out of Time,” with the opening lyrics “My mind lies over the sea/impossible dreams come easy to me,” does tread a little down their fellow countrymen’s well worn path, it manages to retain a rather sunny demeanor. There is no time to sulk nor is there reason to in the world of California Snow Story.
With male (David Skirving, formerly of Camera Obscura) and female vocals harmonizing and trading lead duties over acoustic guitars and gentle drumming (with a little flute and glockenspiel), the band has managed to make Scottish beach music. Not in the “Wipeout” or “Misirlou” party vein, but sun-going down, bonfire-in-the-sand style.