Austin-based, indie rock band Summer Fires is an indie band with pop instincts. With their soaring vocal hooks and thoughtful lyrics, the band maintains the essence of indie rock while their addictive guitar riffs and catchy melodies course through their music and scatter it with tinges of dark pop. The band is comprised of J.P. Welsh on vocals, guitars, and keys, Seth Bellon on bass guitar, Scotty Barnes on drums, Jeremy Stein on guitar, and Matt Gilmour on vocals and guitar. Reminiscent of and inspired by bands such as The Strokes, Spoon, The Killers, Death Cab for Cutie, and Modest Mouse. Summer Fires’ highly anticipated forthcoming EP, Without A Word, falls in line with their already established sound and energy. The record speaks to brooding romances, learning to accept failures and move forward with life, and the importance of communication and what happens when communication is lacking in one’s relationships.
Summer Fires initially formed as a solo project by frontman J.P. Welsh in 2013. At the time, Welsh was working on recording an album and applying to law school. He met bassist Seth Bellon his freshman year in college and the guys began playing music together. “Something about the idea of law school didn’t quite swoon me,” says Welsh. “I dropped out just as classes started and asked Seth if he wanted to start a band. We moved to Austin a few months later, met Scotty, our drummer, and started playing shows around town.” Once drummer Scotty Barnes joined Welsh and Bellon, Summer Fires was fully realized.
Over the course of the past three years, the band has seen a few iterations, with Welsh, Bellon, and Barnes at its core. In 2016, The band went into the studio and began working with Chris “Frenchie” Smith (Jet, Santana, and The Toadies) at The Bubble Recording Studio. The guys started recording their EP, Without A Word, and laid down four of the seven tracks with some backing vocals and guitar from Eden Welply. The band refined and perfected the tracks over the next year and finished recording the final three songs on the record at the beginning of 2017. Throughout the past year, Summer Fires has been playing gigs all over Austin, honing their live performance and on-stage chemistry. This past summer, the band welcomed guitarist Jeremy Stein to the group, shortly followed by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Matt Gilmour. With the band solidified and an amazing record to share with audiences and fans alike, Summer Fires is set to ignite Austin with their music.
Photographer: Dalton Campbell