Summer Fiction is new indie band from Philadelphia led by singer/songwriter Bill Ricchini. The songs on the self-titled debut record were written to flow into one another and feel of a certain whole piece of work, yet ranging stylistically from late 60s baroque pop to torch songs to folk rock ballads to old time waltzes to country duets. The album loosely follows a young girl’s coming of age but reads like the journal entries of the guys who fall for her throughout her life. And yes, there are more than a few lyrical references to make-up, lipstick and mascara. We’ll let you interpret that for yourself.
Most songs were written not sitting at a piano or holding a guitar but rather in Ricchini’s preferred method- riding the subway. He’d dream up these songs riding the 3 miles from the Race Street to the Tasker/Morris stop; humming the songs as he walked home before desperately searching for his digital dictaphone before he forgot the new melody and arrangement playing in his head.
Ricchini self-produced the record using pro studios for rhythm, harpsichord, piano and vocal tracks. The bulk of the recordings, however, were done in a spare bedroom in his South Philly row home. Percussion tracks were cut remotely and feature a vibraphone, timpani and massive marimba cut at The University of Pennsylvania’s Irvine Auditorium. Members of Philly bands such as BC Camplight and Buried Beds played on the record along with classical players doing strings, woodwinds, clarinet, and accordion. A pocket symphony if you will.
The record was mixed by Pat Noon and mastered by Alan Douches in NY- who also put the finishing touches on recent Sufjan Stevens and Animal Collective records.
Summer Fiction means whatever you want it to. It came from a response to the question a lot of songwriters hear. Is this song autobiographical? Did that really happen to you? It comes from the play on words “some are real; some are fiction.” But a friend’s take was a lot better than anything we came up with. He talked about summer as a time for young love and lust and only when love matures and the cold of late autumn sets in does the wonderful, hard reality of relationships come into focus. It is that timeline from raw, youthful heaven tonight to mature romantic love that this record is all about.
We hope you enjoy the ride.
Bill’s song “A Cold Wind Will Blow Through Your Door” was featured on the Grey’s Anatomy Soundtrack in 2007. Past solo records include Ordinary Time and Tonight I Burn Brightly.