BOTANY - END THE SUMMERTIME F(OR)EVER VINYL (LP)
Release Date: 25th September 2020
"Austin-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Spencer Stephenson’s first solo LP in nearly four years End the Summertime F(or)ever is sample-studded mood board of bass-heavy abstract hip hop, spiraling psychedelia, and disco-house, that explores deep time, aging, societal upheaval, the afterlife, and the cosmic perspective as they appear through the distorting, relentless Texas heat. “I came up with the title in fall of 2018, so it was never meant to speak explicitly about pandemics or protests,” Stephenson comments, “but in the years I was putting it together I couldn’t help but acknowledge that an era of complacency was coming to a close for me and for the world, and that instinct shaped these tracks more than any other factor.” End the Summertime F(or)ever asks the listener to reexamine what adjectives like “sunny” will come to mean in a world of rising global temperature, and unrest that will inevitably keep rising with it. Will cultural relics like Gershwin’s “Summertime” come off as smug reminders of a more verdant past? Isn’t sunlight, often considered a rejuvenating force in the realm of metaphor, also capable of fading, melting, and warping all that it touches? Isn’t that sun that we long for in winter the same one that will someday swallow the Earth with total indifference? In the meantime Botany hosts an auditory mass exorcism for the angst, fatigue, confusion, and fervor of the times, summed up in the album’s spoken-word tagline spliced from self-help tapes and evangelical rants: “You’re off by yourself / in a quiet place / picture the Earth / as seen from Space / it’ll be so groovy / it’ll be so great / at the end of summer / and the United States.”"