Haunted Summer sounds like the best nightmare you’ve ever had. I know that proclamation seems a bit strange, but once you hear their music it will all make sense: the otherworldly sonic arrangements, the eerie synthesizers, the somber vocal melodies that creep into the deepest recesses of your mind. The band sounds exactly like what their name suggests, a dreamy mix of sunshine-drenched hooks and sinister undertones.
“The band was sort of formed amid personal crisis,” says Bridgette Eliza Moody, singer and co-songwriter/founder of the group, “We just learned to work with the dark elements inherent in life and used it to fuel our music.”
Husband and other half of the songwriting foundation John Seasons agrees: “For every horrible situation in life, there’s a way to shine a light on it. I think that’s what we try to do with our music.”
The Los Angeles-based band will be taking this surreal mixture of darkness and light, dream and nightmare, to San Francisco this month with a Tuesday night residency at Amnesia starting on the 7th and ending on the 28th. I spoke to the couple about their thoughts on the Bay Area, the limitation of genre labels and just how they strike that tenuous balance between hope and despondency in their music.
The Bay Bridged: What attracted you to the Bay Area music scene and what are you most looking forward to in your upcoming San Francisco residency?
Bridgette Eliza Moody: We’ve always been fans of the city and we’ve been really lucky with the reception we’ve received on past tours up here. We were welcomed with open arms by music fans in the area and we love how tight knit the community of musicians is; the way they take care of each other is incredible.
John Seasons: Yeah, the Tony Bennett song definitely comes to mind every time we leave this place. We’ve played Bottom of the Hill, the Great American Music Hall, the Chapel, among others, and every time we’ve had a fantastic experience. You’re lucky to get a enthusiastic reaction anywhere nowadays, and it’s even more special in a city as beautiful as San Francisco.
TBB: Where do you draw inspiration from?
JS: We’re all over the map when it comes to influences. Bridgette has a background in theater and I have one in jazz, but we listen to a bit of everything. Off the top of my head I guess I could call out Bjork, Radiohead, the Moody Blues and the Beach Boys, but I know there are so many more I can’t even contemplate right now.
BM: Yes, we’re definitely eclectic in our listening tastes. But outside of musical influences we both pull a lot from our own dreams. We make music almost as a way to make sense of those intangible experiences, as a way to bring them a step closer to reality.