Personal Soundtrack

2 May

The Song

I Wanna Go by Summer Heart


It is officially May and the pleasant haze of summer can be seen just over the horizon.  This is arguably the best time of the year, and preparations for the sun-drenched days are gearing up.  People are busy getting base tans, picking out new party trunks, and coming up with some new summer romance-ready pick-up lines.

One vital component of these preparations is the selection of songs to be included on the playlists that will accompany this year’s seasonal events.  BBQs, pool parties, road trips, stargazing makeout sessions – they all need great background music.

A good summer song can come in many different forms, but with most of them, you can tell upon the first listen that its going to be there for the June-August long haul.  “I Wanna Go” from Summer Heart is one of those songs.  Pretty much all of Summer Heart’s great new album About A Feeling seems to have been made with beautiful summer days in mind, and “I Wanna Go” in particular stands out as a sunny favorite.

With its far-off vocals and gauzy, washed out sound, “I Wanna Go” is like a transmission from the hottest part of a summer day – in that woozy, dazed state just on the edge of full-on heat stroke.  And while this hazy feeling permeates throughout the song, it doesn’t stop it from building up its own propulsive momentum behind a spare drum beat and chiming guitar chords.  The guitar line is the part of the song that takes everything to a whole different level; it percolates and bubbles, seemingly reaching high into the cloudless blue sky above the band.

The carefree vibe of the song immediately recalls the long summer days of years past, when school was out and the only thing worth worrying about was where the next party was going to be.  Frontman David Alexander proclaims that “I had nothing to lose and I had nothing to prove”, and its tough to find a truer sentiment for the ideal summer day or night.

The Activity

It’s an ambiguous day in July.  Ambiguous because without anything to worry about on this summer vacation, you’ve lost all track of which weekday it is.  And also ambiguous because the sun has been beating down since early morning, causing everyone to move around in a slightly dazed state, their minds slightly addled by the heat.  The summer has been somewhat uneventful so far – there have been great times, but not much has really lived up to the epic plans you were hatching back in May.  The big road trip to the lake house has been put off until August, and your dreams of a summer romance with the beautiful girl from down the street have been thwarted by your omnipresent fear of rejection.

And so on this ambiguous day you and your friends are lazing around Steve’s backyard pool yet again, trying to stay cool while most of you reflect on the slight disappointments of June.  You’ve brought out some speakers to pass the time, and as you shuffle around on the dial, a vibrant song suddenly beams out and snaps you momentarily out of your heat-dazed state.  The chiming guitar line and echoing harmonies catch on with something unspoken inside of your head and you ask the lounging group Who Is This?

Oh, That’s My Cousin’s Band, murmurs Steve, as if his now-known connection to this amazing sound is not remarkable.  It is, and without even thinking, you blurt out If We Throw A Keg Will They Come Play For It?  Everyone steps out of their varying states of midday reverie and turn towards you.  This is a bold and dangerous plan, but one that would be undeniably great if pulled off.  If.

Steve responds, Yeah Probably, As Long As We Can Set Everything Else Up.  The unspoken question in that statement is directed towards you – it was your idea so it will fall on you to figure out the Elephant in this figurative room.  The keg.  The gleaming barrel of hops is about two years out of your legal reach, so you’ll have to put in a call to the older Sister.  Who luckily turns out to be in a good mood on this ambiguous summer day, and who, apart from charging an excessive Convenience Fee, is quite helpful in picking everything up and helping to set it up at a notoriously remote and party-friendly area of the nearby lakefront park.

After several phone calls, text messages, and general word-spreading, potential party people begin trickling down into the park.  The band works out some kind of MacGuyver-esque sound system that actually sounds pretty good, and adding that to the fact that two new Good Samaritan kegs have mysteriously joined your initial one – a veritable summer party is about to break out.  The sunset has begun to soak the sky in deep oranges and purples when there’s a tap on the shoulder – it’s your elusive summer girl, smiling and wearing a sundress that renders your voice useless.  Find Me Later she says before kissing your cheek and gliding away.  Mind blank, you turn towards the band as they send the first sublime guitar chords into the summer air.


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