Thursday, November 16, 2017

Certain Songs #1045: Luna – “Indian Summer” | Medialoper

Album: Slide EP
Year: 1993

Beat Happening’s “Indian Summer” is one of those songs, like “Train From Kansas City” or “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” that seems to lend itself to endless covers, all of them somehow slightly different while retaining its beautiful charm.

And while Dean Wareham called it indie’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” he also produced what I think is the definitive version of it, ignoring the off-beat percussion of the original recording for a more stately, measured approach.

With lovely simple guitars ringing back and forth towards eternity, Warham was still able to convey the wide-eyed youthfulness and discovery of young love that lay at the heart of “Indian Summer.”

Breakfast in cemetery
Boy tasting wild cherry
Touch girl, apple blossom
Just a boy playing possum

But there’s sadness, too. That’s one of the things about “Indian Summer:” it knows that like this time of year when the summer fools you one last time into thinking it’s gonna last forever, it ain’t going to last forever no matter how much croquet you play or baked Alaskas you eat.

We’ll come back for Indian summer
We’ll come back for Indian summer
We’ll come back for Indian summer
And go our separate ways

And so Luna’s version builds and builds, as they eat wild berries, bike to the cemetery, get covered in rain and just as they vow to never change, they change into a long, gorgeous guitar solo.

At first the guitar solo is just the rain falling on the ground, and it’s easy to run through, especially after Wareham slides back into the main riff for a bit, as if to pretend like everything is OK, but then he takes back off, growing older, growing apart, the Indian summer turning into a crisp cold autumn turning into a dreadful winter and the phone calls dry up and the letters stop and “Indian Summer” just becomes one more hazy memory.

“Indian Summer”

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