After proving herself an invaluable fixture in the Adelaide music community for the past decade or so, Stephanie Crase suddenly found herself bereft of musical outfits after a virtual desertion by a multitude of musical peers. Following the dissolution of acts such as Batrider, Hit The Jackpot, No Through Road and more, Crase consolidated her musical prowess into the solo project Summer Flake. In the space of a year and a half, Crase has taken Summer Flake to a multitude of stages across the globe – including an eventful sojourn to the US earlier in 2013 around South By Southwest. On the eve of the release of Summer Flake’s debut album, Crase charts the project’s journey since inception.
“I had the idea around the start of last year, so January 2012, and I had a bunch of songs lying around. It was about the time Sarah [Chadwick] and Sam [Featherstone] from Batrider had moved to Melbourne, Jess [Thomas] and Kynan [Lawlor] from Hit The Jackpot had moved to America, so all the people I played with had moved away from Adelaide. I was at a bit of a loose end and finding time to do my own stuff. I think I did my first show maybe in February playing solo, then put a few songs online in March, then the first EP in August. It felt like enough people were into it to keep it going. There’s no stress, no downtime – it’s all in between, really.”
Since the genesis of Summer Flake as a musical project, a steadily prolific stream of releases has seen fruition. The debut album You Can Have It All marks a fairly seamless progression from two attention-garnering EPs in the past year. “At the end of last year I had almost all of the songs, as well as the ones from the Where Do I Go? EP [released earlier this year], and I just knew that some wouldn’t suit going on one or the other. It was easy to lock in an EP with the time that I had, because I had some time locked in in America for a little holiday. Then I gradually got the album going … It feels pretty quick, but when I think about it, it was actually five months of recording,” Crase recalls. “Because I do it at home, I have to work out the technical glitches myself. And it can take weeks trying to figure out why the programs keep crashing, and also that thing of getting fatigue from doing something like all the drum tracks back to back. You can lose all perspective. It’s good doing recording yourself because you can give yourself the breaks you need. It’s a good leisurely pace, but with a heavier workload.”
The notion of solo musicianship is sometimes the result of vanity, but that is far from the case with Summer Flake. “When you do something solo it can come across really self-indulgent, which it kind of is. When I did it, it was really out of necessity. I almost felt too embarrassed to ask people to be in my band,” Crase laughs. “So I just ended up doing bits myself and getting friends to help out live.”
Tackling recording duties on her own time, Crase felt imbued by a sense of freedom rather than being overwhelmed with the task at hand. “Because I’m not in a studio, I can literally try anything. So if I don’t know about something, I can try it out then sit on it for a week. If I’m happy with something, I’ll keep moving on. The boundaries are set within whatever I can handle and still enjoy myself with. It would be really impossible for me to do it if it was a drag.”
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
You Can Have It All out Friday September 6 through Rice Is Nice.