Since Haunted Summer formed in 2012, the Los Angeles band has enjoyed virtual overnight success, including performances in famous Southern California venues like the El Rey Theatre. On Thursday, Jan. 16, the band will perform at another famous venue: Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.
Haunted Summer starts with John and Bridgette Seasons. The longtime friends—now married—had played music together in other bands. Then came an opportunity that turned into their founding moment.
“There’s a venue out here in L.A. called the Echo. They basically enlisted us to put together a cover band covering Animal Collective,” said John Seasons. “Long story short, I asked Bridgette, and that collaboration led to love—and led to the band sticking around beyond that one show.”
John and Bridgette’s influences include Cocteau Twins, Björk, The Flaming Lips and Fleetwood Mac. Add in Bridgette’s theater background, and John’s exposure to all sorts of musical genres—his father is a jazz drummer—and the result is a unique sound that would place them somewhere within the “dream pop” genre.
“It just naturally came out,” said Bridgette Seasons about the band’s sound. “Last Thanksgiving (2012), we brought our instruments and just jammed. We wrote our first song, and we just sort of understood what we were playing at the time.”
Added John: “It was really organic. The album and songs we do in our set, we wrote in about a month. The next step was getting our music out there.”
They indeed started getting their music out there, opening for various national bands. They said their favorite live shows to date were with The Polyphonic Spree, a psychedelic pop group that features a chorus and orchestra.
“Tim DeLaughter of The Polyphonic Spree is the most wholesome guy,” said John Seasons.” Everyone in that band would come up to us after a show and see how we were doing. Everybody bought our merch, and it felt like a big family in that atmosphere.”
Added Bridgette: “That band tours with 16 people, and they’re all in a giant van staying in small hotels and having to take turns with the shower. You would think they’d be stressed out and mean, but they’re all really nice people.”
The Polyphonic Spree is just one of the acts with whom they’ve shared the stage. Others include Taken by Trees, Coeur de Pirate and Meiko, to name a few.
“We’ve been able to play with a lot of really different acts. It’s just been very viable for us,” said Bridgette Seasons.
Their EP, a five-track effort called Something in the Water, is an independent effort that has been posted on Bandcamp (hauntedsummer.bandcamp.com) and sold at Amoeba Records in Hollywood and San Francisco. They are now working on their full-length album.
Bridgette Seasons talked about what can be expected from their show at Pappy and Harriet’s.
“Usually when we perform, it’s (as) a two-piece,” she said. “The show at Pappy and Harriet’s will have a four-piece band. It’s very driving and drony, but really full, heartfelt and psychedelic. It wraps you up in a whole different world of sound.
“We’re really excited about that show. … The show might be a lot bigger than we thought. Robyn (Celia), one of the owners of Pappy and Harriet’s, was nice enough to give us that date. This will be our last hurrah before we head on a national tour.”
Haunted Summer will perform with Islands at 8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 16, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown. Tickets are $8. For tickets or more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit pappyandharriets.com.