Summerooms turns one this year, so we’re getting all nostalgic (well, as nostalgic as one can get with a year-old album) with a special anniversary review.
Summerooms is a summer-themed side project from the mind of Josh Jackson (aka. Fiery Crash). It was released late May last year to a warm reception, and it certainly hasn’t lost any of its appeal. Listening to Summerooms is like a cool breeze that strikes your face as you kick back in the summer sun. Many summery releases tap into the (hyper)activity of the season. This album, however, evokes the lazier and more relaxed times in the warmer months. Delay and fingerpicking give the guitar work here a rhapsodic vibe, like best friends jamming in the backyard as the sun sets. Three of the tracks are instrumental interludes, and these are perfectly placed and in balance with the rest of the album. Even the audio excerpt from a Thomas Gore video isn’t out of place.
Another interesting aspect of the release is its length. The twelve songs play out in only 28 minutes, which is almost more fitting for an EP than an album. While I wish it was a little longer, this is another way the album really represents summer. While summer may seem like a long time in the moment, it is only a snapshot of our existence. The same can be said of the days of our youth. Summerooms is a musical snapshot as well, and it is one of poetic excellence. Despite its shortness, it paints a complete picture of summer and youth: the fun, the heartbreak, the laziness, the lessons learned, the unease, and the season’s inevitable and sudden end.
In the album, there is both positivity and negativity towards this experience. While at times Josh sings things like “You’re never too old for love so redeeming” and “God gives me what I need to get by,” there are other times when he admits that “Adulthood might kill me” and “It’s all downhill from here.” However, the lyrics balance out and end on a hopeful note. Though life is short and sometimes painful, Josh Jackson illuminates both the good and bad in a way that is empathetic and constructive.
To summarize: Summerooms shakes off the stereotype of superficial summer songs and tackles the trials of youth that we all face, maintaining musical mastery even in a lo-fi side project. Summerooms is perhaps a timeless record. The experiences discussed are widely applicable and highly relatable to those of all ages, whether in retrospect or in immediate reflection. There’s something here for most everyone, and, unlike its titular season, Summerooms has longevity.
Be sure to check out Josh Jackson at the links below. Summerooms is available as a free download and stream at the bottom of this post.