We interviewed Summer Heart and explored the colours behind his latest EP Insecurities.
Released just last week, alt-pop singer-songwriter Summer Heart’s latest EP Insecurities is a silhouette of dreamy electro-pop soundscape wrapped in an organza of feelings.
For instance, ‘Inside Out’ is as addictive as it is comforting, encapsulating the happy moments while they last, almost like being inside a floating soap bubble before it pops. While ‘Wash You Off’ feels like swaying vibes in an incandescent sultry atmosphere. On the other hand, ‘Too Many Miles’ feels like something you’d dive into on long journeys – with the winding road just ahead.
It is perhaps just the kind of music we need at the end of a tired day, week, month or even year.
We spoke with the artist to find out more about his new EP including what it means to him, his music influences and what he hopes people feel when they listen to his songs.
For the record, we’re feeling very comforted and alright listening to ‘Insecurities’ right now.
AL365: Hi Summer Heart, Vanessa here from AsiaLive365. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. We absolutely love the single ‘Wash You Off’. What can you tell us about how this song came about?
Summer Heart: Thank you very much. I’m happy it’s out and the positive feedback it has received. It was just me and my friends Myra and Joakim hanging out in Joakim’s studio writing some music and we started vibing on this idea. Another friend, Leah, lends her voice to the choruses. Her voice suits the song perfectly.
AL365: We’re loving the vignettes-like photography and light leaks on ‘Wash You Off’ a lot. Tell us more about the production of the music video for this song.
Summer Heart: Me and the videographer Johan Lundsten had never met before we shot this video. We had been talking online and realised we had similar ideas for the video. We created a mood board and booked a date for the shoot. Everything was shot over one long day in Stockholm, Sweden. I’m really happy how it turned out. I like the mysteriousness of it. It’s something I am drawn to; when you get to interpret things yourself and not everything is laid out in front of you. That is just too boring.
AL365: Massive congrats on the release of your EP Insecurities. Between Ambitions (from last year), and Insecurities – how do the two differ from one another, sonically, texturally and lyrically?
Summer Heart: I think Ambitions is more polished. Insecurities is more about a feeling of uncertainty. Especially the B-sides I’ve kept dirty and unpolished. I love that. It’s about making music for the sake of making music. Not to make music to have pop songs to release. This is just about being in the moment.
AL365: Is there anything else that you can share about Insecurities?
Summer Heart: I have tried to let go of my perfectionism when working on it. Just leaving it when it feels good instead of overworking everything. I read somewhere “if it sounds good, don’t do it”. I love that idea. It hasn’t exactly been my mantra but I’ve let go of the idea of making anything that is perfect. It’s just making music I enjoy making, in the moment. Nothing more, nothing less.
AL365: Having gone independent for eight years now, how does it feel to sign on to the label Icons Creating Evil Art?
Summer Heart: It feels great. The reason is that they are letting me be me. They are open to my ideas and are letting me do my thing. They don’t interfere, instead, they are supportive, understanding and forthcoming with ideas to help me do my thing. I love working with them.
AL365: Tell us more about your music influences growing up and do you feel nuances of their influences in your music?
Summer Heart: I’ve loved all kinds of music from guitar pop to techno and jazz. In some strange way, Bossa Nova has meant a lot to me. My dad used to play Brazilian bossa tunes on the guitar when I was a kid. He also played a lot of James Taylor songs. My mom was singing jazz songs. One of the first bands that meant a lot to me was Smashing Pumpkins. I loved their albums Adore and Machina. Interpol is another band that I loved, and still love. Especially their two first albums Turn On The Bright Lights and Antics. The early Beach Fossils and Diiv (when they were still called Dive) also had a huge impact on me. Washed Out and Toro y Moi are other musicians that have meant a huge deal to me.
AL365: Without using the words “summer” or “heart”, how would you describe the organic structure of your music?
Summer Heart: I’m not sure how to describe any music with words. It’s like words are just signposts to make sense of our thoughts and surroundings but music is on a deeper level. It’s something you feel inside you that you can’t put words on. That’s the feeling I’m looking for when I make music. It’s not always easy, as it’s easy to over analyse and compare what you’re doing with others. I’m getting better at it though.
AL365: What do you hope people feel when they listen to your music?
Summer Heart: That everything will be alright.
AL365: What are you up to right now?
Summer Heart: I’ve gotten all nerdy about natural wines recently.
AL365: Following the release of Insecurities, where do you see yourself going from here?
Summer Heart: I already have some ideas for what to do next. I’ve picked up my acoustic guitar again and started working on a couple of small ideas. I’m gonna continue developing them at some point. But I’m trying to do one thing at the time.
AL365: Thanks again Summer Heart.
Summer Heart: Thank you for having me!
Cover photo: Streetlight Motion