Photo: Phillip Brantley (Laser Brains)

Tedo Stone Rises with the “Summer Sun” (premiere)

Georgia rocker Tedo Stone looks back on life and stays steady with his commitment on this breezy, titular track "Summer Sun".

From the moment he fronted his first band and playing biker bars in his hometown of Covington, Georgia at the age of 12, it was evident that Tedo Stone was a natural born rocker. Some number of years and putting-in of dues behind him, Stone is back playing in his hometown around 30 miles from music hub Atlanta, and he is bringing his resonant indie rock along with him. He’s readied a forthcoming album, Summer Sun, too, on Laser Brains. It has an impending release date of 25 May.

The album’s titular opening track starts out with the ominous jangling of offbeat string melodies and a looming layer of bass synth. When Stone’s irreverent grit comes calmly into view, it’s only so long before “Summer Sun” evolves from its could-go-anywhere beginnings into a—dare it be said—sunny disposition. Where it begins on a literal ow note, it ends on a literal high, Stone evoking a sunbathed, nostalgic, and folkish rock sound evocative of acts like Okkervil River or Neutral Milk Hotel.

This sonic melding of influences might come from Stone’s early love for the likes of Patsy Cline and Otis Redding alongside more contemporary acts. As far as what directly influenced the creation of “Summer Sun” itself, Stone tells PopMatters, “It’s hard for me to decipher the meaning of the songs I write until after they are complete. ‘Summer Sun’ was written a few weeks before I got married, and I see that in the lyrics looking back.”

“The idea of commitment and our world surrounding that commitment getting better as time passes was my initial analysis of the tune. After we recorded the song, I found some old reels of film of my parents and uncles at my grandparents lake cabin. I put those clips together for the video for ‘Summer Sun’. It seemed like an appropriate pairing with the title. After doing so, I started seeing other interpretations of the lyrics. Still rooted in commitment, family and love, but through a broader lens.”

“We developed the songs as a band (before hitting the studio) at a house my family built next to my grandparents’ lake cabin. We’d been at it for a few days and were in a bit of a rut when a huge rain storm came out of nowhere. We all dropped our instruments and ran down to the lake, jumped in, and swam about until the rain stopped. It was a much needed cleansing on many levels – this song came out of nowhere after that storm. It ended up tying the yet-to-be-fully-conceptualized together, and ultimately became the title track.”