Nicole Yun only knows a handful of guitar chords, but she plays them passionately. Her band, Eternal Summers, has expanded sizably on sophomore effort Correct Behavior, building on their debut’s ramshackle indiepop foundation with stadium-sized hooks, extra layers of guitar, and loads of reverb. But in spite of their sonic makeover, Eternal Summers (now a trio with the addition of bassist Jonathan Woods) still understand the power of brevity and focus, striking a balance between the naÃ¯ve, home-spun charm of early gems like “Running High” and “Safe at Home” and the more expansive style they’ve branded “dream-punk.”
“Millions” is a hell of a re-introduction. With its jangly guitar lines and see-sawing chorus melody, the track sounds like New Pornographers stuck in the garage, with Yun channeling her inner Neko Case. They have their stoner-poet moment with the atmospheric prog-pop of “Heaven and Hell,” Yun philosophizing “Death itself will die” over cavernous distortion – epic shit for a band who probably used to record in their mom’s basement. Eternal Summers seem to have a blast exploring the limits of a legitimate studio (check the skronky, drunk toddler guitar solo on “Disappear,” or the rocket-snare blast on “You Kill,” or the Beach House-y preset keyboard beat on closer “Summerset”), but they rarely experiment at the cost of joyous, chest-pounding pop. Correct Behavior indeed.