In October 2017, The Summer Set broke up.
This wasn’t a surprise to fans — they’d been inactive for most of the year, and the statement then released confirmed suspicions once and for all. In the months before, the band had turned ten years old. Now it was the end, and everyone knows that the heartbreak of losing your favorite band is a very unique kind of pain.
Fast forward to 2021, and The Summer Set announced their really quite unexpected return. After all, each member had been doing their own thing successfully: Brian Dales in theater and working on new music, Stephen Gomez and John Gomez songwriting and performing in their new band Twin XL, and Jess Bowen becoming a touring drummer for just about everyone. Nevertheless, the four-piece found the time, and ‘Street Lightning’ sent fans into a frenzy, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response. Never the kind of band to do things by halves, they then announced Blossom, Part 1, their fifth LP, earlier this year.
The record, which will be released on Friday, September 9, begins with ‘The Color of Everything (Intro).’ The dreamy piece is an excellent opener and will have the hair on your arms raised in anticipation for the first new album from The Summer Set since 2016. Entirely produced by the Gomez brothers, who chalked up quite a few production credits while the band was on hiatus, Blossom, Part 1 is an album about “growth and togetherness,” according to Dales.
The aforementioned ‘Street Lightning’ follows, and it’s still as special whether it’s your first listen or your thousandth. Of course, fans will never forget the track that re-introduced the band to the world.
The band have been hitting the promo trail hard, and there are only two songs unheard by fans ahead of the album’s release. However, it’s important to remember that this is part one of a two-record release, and there will be much, much more to come. The first taste of something new comes in the form of ‘My Own Medicine,’ self-depreciation wrapped up with a punchy chorus. “Every time that I go out / I open up my mouth / And then it all goes south” is probably something we can all relate to, right?
The Summer Set have wrangled two of their most significant features yet on Blossom, Part 1 the first of which is ‘Teenagers,’ which enlists the help of Against The Current vocalist Chrissy Costanza. The theme of nostalgia runs riot throughout the record, but it’s particularly prevalent in this ode to youth. ‘FTS’ then follows; with a verse from superstar Travie McCoy, it has fun lyrics and a dynamic melody, including a pretty killer saxophone solo.
Early August saw the single release of ‘Hard Candy,’ a track with colossal energy that has quickly become a fan favorite. Looking back to 2013’s Legendary and 2016’s Stories For Monday, The Summer Set have been consistent in their ability to thrill their listeners with anthemic instrumentals and lyrics that everyone can resonate with.
The penultimate track and second that you’ll have to wait until album release day for, ‘Famous’ preaches disillusion with relationships, friends, and life. The connection a band like this can make with their listeners, purely through showing their hand, is something that doesn’t go unnoticed. The lyrics shine through here, approaching world-weariness in such a delicate way. Every diehard will get it.
Which then brings us to the final track; The Summer Set’s pièce de resistance. ‘Back Together’ is the tear-jerker finale first released to fans in December 2021. If ever there was a song that was for the fans, this is it. “Any minute now the doors will open / They’ll come rushing in / And the diehards on the barricade won’t care how long it’s been” is a soul-wrenching, heart-breaking truth. The accompanying music video, which utilized clips from the band’s past, only served this mission further.
The Summer Set are working hard to rebuild. Social media has evolved even more since 2017, and the band have very quickly re-established themselves as a group that is hotly tipped and highly anticipated. The fact of the matter is, the buzz never really went away; their fans are willing to come out in their droves to support this band.
Blossom, Part 1 is an incredible feat; The Summer Set reinvented, and only a taste of what is to come.