ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Summer Birth
High Dive hosted a packed house as Summer Birth and Large Print played killer sets alongside Minneapolis art rockers Products.
Summer Birth consists of vocalist Zachary Ochoa, guitarist Ryan Mueller, bassist Mark Buescher and drummer Cary Elger. Their eclectic rock style is fresh and vivacious, taking influence from bands such as Big Thief and Parquet Courts. Formed during quarantine, the band’s first show was about a year ago.
Ochoa explains, “I met Cary on Facebook in the Riverwest page when he was looking to start a band and we started chatting. I knew Ryan played guitar and then Mark came along, and so we’ve been practicing for like two years during the pandemic and we’ve had a few shows now.”
“I saw Parquet Courts live at Pitchfork and they were going absolutely nuts at this festival,” Elger adds. “I was staring up at those dudes on stage and I was like “yeah…I want to do that” so I just started posting everywhere. When Zach responded I had a really good feeling. Our song “Tooth Rot” definitely pulls from Big Thief; we’ve got a new one we’re working on that maybe brings a little Deftones into it. We really try to take individual influences and find the pieces that work.”
“There’s a big common ground between all of us,” Buescher said. “I know a big influence for Ryan is Blink-182 and Cary grew up with a lot of classic rock. For me, I was a radio DJ in college and was very into the indie music scene. Summer Birth is a melding of all these different things.”
Mueller adds, “Every time we approach something it’s a blank slate. There’s a developing connective tissue with the body of work that we’re making but at the same time we’re not putting anything in a box, and that’s where I think overthinking can come in handy. We’re all neurodivergent in our own ways and the way it comes together is like a puzzle piece – where one person might lack, another picks up in.”
The band considered a bunch of names before settling on Summer Birth. “We had the name 2003 for a while as a placeholder,” Elger said. “Then we were just cycling through and we would overthink it to the point of death, but Zach thought of Summer Birth so we put it on the list and eventually that one stuck.”
Ochoa shares a bit about her lyrics. “Joanna Newsom is definitely a pillar of my life; I love Angel Olsen…Justin Vernon…Adrianne Lenker – a lot of hearty, dense songwriters. Songwriting for me is super personal but I also love the idea of making something be really abstract while also weirdly accessible. That’s what I’m always chasing – moments where people can see themselves in the song even if I create some level of confusion too.”
Summer Birth are gearing up to release their debut single “Twisted Eye” soon. They play Bremen Cafe on Halloween with Scam Likely, Social Cig, Betsie and DJ Ultraviolet – wear a costume! Also, they’ve got new merch – shirts designed by artist Britany Gunderson.