PREMIERE: Dave Depper Offers a Requiem for “Summer Days” in New Video

The Death Cab for Cutie sideman demonstrates his Emotional Freedom Technique.

Despite what your senses might tell you, fall is officially here, and that means an end to this long, strange, and confusing summer. Of course, all summers are long and strange and confusing in their own way, even when they don’t involve the threat of nuclear war. In the heat, our hearts expand, and we take things in: friends, places, experiences. And as the weather turns and the season contracts, we—well, we don’t return to some old path so much as we see it differently in the new slant of light.

Is that Romantic talk? Yes, that is Romantic talk (with a capital R). But to be fair, it’s the same kind of Romanticism that abides within the music made by Dave Depper, and that colors every frame of Evan James Atwood’s video for Depper’s “Summer Days,” which we’re premiering today. Depper made his bones as a sideman for pretty much every autumnal-toned band to drift down from the Pacific Northwest—Menomena, Fruit Bats, Mirah, Death Cab for Cutie—and while his solo debut Emotional Freedom Technique presents him as an introspective and thoughtful songwriter, his medium is much brighter than you’d think. With its brassy melodies and squirting electronics, Emotional Freedom Technique neatly sidesteps the fuzzy insularity of Depper’s pal Ben Gibbard’s The Postal Service, and instead finds him venturing out of the house and onto the road, surrounded by people—where he feels no less alone.

It’s a feeling that’s recreated in the “Summer Days” video, though it’s a recreation of tone, not content. Atwood follows several groups of friends around town, capturing the kinds of throwaway moments that end up becoming fond memories—stripping down and diving into a river, circling a roller rink on a set of quads. But like Depper—who sings of remembering, rather than experiencing, his summer days, Atwood’s camera feels removed, a step away from the action and longing to return to it. It makes for a soft, sad, and emotionally powerful view of a fading moment, glimpsed just as the light begins to dim. Check it out below.

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