Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's story from a couple summers ago, its pages turned in no particular order: Bitterness. Regret. Betrayal. Bouts of self-loathing. Burning buildings and falling bodies. Breakups and new beginnings. Numerology. And endless nights at the same Brooklyn bar - lots of last calls that drop you in the arms of another, in the death grip of decisions that are wrong in retrospect yet oh-so-right... right?
Summer of Fear is the culmination of years spent in eight-track studios, cypher-fueled jam sessions, and dicey club dates that often ended in fist fights and broken glass. Not to mention a revolving door of collaborators that helped Robinson work out the kinks in his skewed pop hooks and melancholic melodies, including the Grizzly Bear members (drummer Christopher Bear, multi-instrumentalist/producer Chris Taylor) who worked on Robinson's self-titled solo disc several winters agoóthe winter before the fear set in.
As acclaimed as Robinson's debut was when it finally received a proper pressing in 2008, the effort was meant to be a glorified demo. Summer of Fear is what happened six months later, as life alternated between darkness and light, and spare bedroom songs blossomed into speaker-popping arrangements of sweeping strings, honking horns, and chords that cut so deeply they're bound to leave a mark. TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone - a close friend since the pair met en route to a Grizzly Bear show in 2005 - helped bottle Robinson's bruised hymns last winter, ramping up the tension in such standout tracks as "Death by Dust," "Summer of Fear pt. 2," "The Sound," and the 11-and-a-half haunting minutes of "More Than a Mess".