Insecurities is the title of the new EP from the Swedish musician who goes by the moniker of Summer Heart. My brain keeps telling me to type Summer Heat because we had a hot, dry summer in my pin drop on Google Maps.
So, let us dive into what I hear happening in the music and lyrics of this EP which follows on the heels of his late 2020 EP Ambitions, which received a favourable review from WeatheredMusic, https://weatheredmusic.ca/2020/11/13/a-summer-heart-with-ambitions/
The opening track of the EP is also the title track, Insecurities, and it introduces us to the narrator. He is running away from something. In some form of transportation in which he is playing the radio too loud. Possibly in an attempt to overrun the memories on loop in his brain. Memories have taken him 90 miles or 144 kilometres to a lake where he has some pleasant memories of what used to be.
Back to the present and we learn that the author is very insecure and can’t make any sense of what his world has become. The song ends with him crashing into the car of the person that he is obsessed with and cutting down the flowers that that person loved. A violent end to a journey of discovery. A journey in search of meaning for the life that he has left for living.
The song Inside Out gets real for the author of the piece. He tells us this.
“I have a tendency to
say I’m getting better
but really I’m a quitter
quitting under pressure”
It takes intestinal fortitude to admit out falts. Step 4 of the 12 step program tells us to make a searching and fearless moral inventory. Saying that he is a quitter is a small step, but an important one, towards a complete inventory.
Next up, the centrepiece of this EP is the song Wash You Off, another small step towards that inventory with the confession that he struggles with being prideful. Unfortunately, that is a short-lived victory. The ink is barely dry on that page before he dives back into wobbling between telling his lover that the affair is over and then saying that he doesn’t “wanna stop.” He ends the song by throwing the responsibility to her when he is confused and messed up, not her. You gotta own it, bro.
I’m not sure, but song four, Clean, could work as an anthem to an addiction treatment plan.
“I can keep it clean.”
Alternatively, it comes off as the plaintive cry of a broken man.
“nothing kinda turned out as I planned.” Man up because “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.”
The EP closes with the song Too Many Miles, which has some good confessional or step 4 material.
“We don’t talk anymore.”
“I’ve been running way too many miles.”
“I’ve been fighting way too many fights.”
Unfortunately, he then starts to tentatively say that he “kind of wanna start over again.”
At the start of the last refrain of the song Too Many Miles, the author states they “don’t fight anymore.” A wise person once told me that if a couple isn’t fighting, they aren’t communicating. They let everything bottle up inside, which usually leads to an explosion of messy results. So, if you don’t even fight anymore, I kind of think this event is over.
“You swipe right like a sport.” Now ring the final bell.
I enjoyed this adventure in music, but I think it just falls short of its full potential. Put some edge on those synths. Don’t pull the punches. Put some darkness in there, make the vocals cry, shout and even wail when appropriate. Let us, the listeners, really hear the pain. All I hear now are some lovely songs. These lyrics demand more than pleasant. They need some real emotion thrown in.
Take a look at the photo below. Is this man bubbling over with sweet happy thoughts?
No. He is pensive. He looks confused. Perhaps a bit lonely. Pained perhaps but not bubbling over with happiness and I think the music and vocal delivery should support this photo with all the emotional rawness that it projects.
Exemplary musicianship and good storytelling for this EP, I give it a thumbs up and anticipate more from Summer Heart. The potential is there for more excellent music from this emerging artist.
Summer Heart’s new EP ‘Insecurities’ is out on the 3rd September via Icons Creating Evil Art.
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