Mar 06, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Graham Marsh
Last year, musicians Amber Renee and Graham Marsh of CLAVVS returned with a dreamy new project, dayaway. The NYC-based band debuted with their self-titled EP, introducing a nostalgic style of beachy dream pop laced with decadent new wave synths, lush surf guitars, and hazy production textures. They’ve been quiet since that release, but today the band are back with a new single, “hot blue summer,” premiering early with Under the Radar.
Fittingly, “hot blue summer” is another dose of summery indie pop, slotting easily into the band’s well-honed penchant for sun-lit love songs. Hazy surf guitars enlace with dreamy beds of synths and airy vocal melodies, crafting a sound equally indebted to Beach House as The Beach Boys. Meanwhile, the lyrics find Renee dreaming of love and heartbreak, predicting the inevitable bittersweet arc of summer romance:
“I’m dreaming of floating / And hanging out in the sand / Dreaming of flirting / With my new girlfriend / Hot blue summer baby / Hot cruel summer daydream / Heartbreaks on the horizon / But i don’t care / I just wanna have fun, yeah.”
Check out the song and accompanying lyric video along with our Q&A with Renee. “hot blue summer” is out everywhere tomorrow, March 7th.
Can you tell us a little bit more about why and how summertime and the beach inspire your music, especially this latest single?
It’s funny because we were just talking about this. The ocean is one of the original muses. Humans have been writing songs to her or about her for thousands of years. More recently, black musicians invented beach pop in the late 50s which ultimately inspired the whole genre of surf rock, and that’s the legacy we’re following.
Maybe it’s because I’m a water sign, but I find the ocean and summertime to be great symbols for other things, like love and youth and loss. That’s what “hot blue summer” is pointing to— it’s about embracing the good moments while you have them, all the while knowing that seasons change.
When I was growing up in the landlocked south, my grandparents had a pool and most weekends in the summer we’d go over to their house to swim. My grandfather would play all the 60s beach classics. His silly dancing to The Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” is burned forever in my brain. Those are core memories for me, and a big reason I love the genre so much. He passed away a few months ago, but I like to think he’s still dancing somewhere.
How do your other music endeavors (your work CLAVVS, for example) influence the sonic world of dayaway? Do you think this world differs from your previous projects? If so, how?
In my mind, CLAVVS and dayaway couldn’t be more different, which is something I’ve really enjoyed about starting this project and building out the world it inhabits. If dayaway is hazy sunshine, then CLAVVS is velvet midnight. it’s music for my shadow self, often darker and more introspective than dayaway. Sonically, we’ve always been interested in pushing limits with CLAVVS. /that’s not really the case with dayaway. We’re not reinventing anything. It’s beach music for people who love the moods of summertime.
Is there anything coming soon from dayaway that we should keep on our radar? And what do you hope the future holds for dayaway?
There’s a lot on the horizon with dayaway! We’re excited to share more details when the time is right. we hope that “hot blue summer” resonates with people and maybe brings them a moment of summertime wherever they are.