This is the musical comeback that I personally have been waiting for, yet wasn’t expecting to come any time soon. The Summer Set were cult pop punk favourites during the mid 2000s, releasing successful albums like Love Like This (2009), Everything’s Fine (2011), their incredible breakthrough album, Legendary (2013) and Stories For Monday (2016) and were international touring regulars on music festivals Soundwave and the last time the Vans Warped Tour hit Australia in 2013. For me, this band’s music acted as the soundtrack to many of my adventures when I was younger — their songs give the right amount of seratonin you need to survive life on the go.
Since Stories For Monday was released in 2016 though, the band members have kinda focused on their own musical side projects. Fast forward five years and the band have taken some time out to reconnect with life and refresh before jumping back in to music to unleash their refreshing new era. ‘Street Lightning’ is a throwback to the band’s signature style over the years and pays homage to your reckless youth days. It kinda acts as the ideal transition from where they left us with Stories For Monday all those years ago.
Vocalist Brian Logan Dales shared a heartfelt, touching letter to the fans on his Instagram this week about how the resurgence of The Summer Set came about and what ultimately led to the band’s first single in five years:
I guess if there is any silver lining to such an arduous 18 months, it’s that I was forced to take a very long, deep breath.
I’ve spent the last decade running at everything as fast as I could and slowly wearing myself down in the process. I have no regrets, but the writing was definitely on the wall.
In February of 2020, with the world on the precipice of shutting down, I took a good look in the mirror, quit drinking, and moved back to Arizona for “two weeks” in search of some peace of mind. I am still here.
And it was here where I found my inner child, fell back in love with all the music I grew up on and got creative again. Just for the thrill of it — without any need for expectation or approval. More importantly, it was here in the desert that I learned how to zoom out and appreciate everything The Summer Set got to do during the ten years we were a band. Back then, I was so hung up on trying to “get ahead” that I didn’t know how to appreciate the moments while I was in them. I couldn’t see the forest through the trees, and got lost in the dangerous cycle of comparing ourselves to what other bands were doing on Instagram.
If only thirteen year old me could’ve stepped in and remind me that “the dream” was just to start a band with his friends and see the world. To make music that mattered to even just a handful of people. Dear thirteen year old me… that dream came true.
I wrote ‘Street Lightning’ in my childhood bedroom last year, in the peak of the pandemic, with the burning desire to get back in touch with my teenage self. I just wanted to make a song that would sound cool in my head — no rules, no math, no “is this going to work?”. I never in my wildest dreams thought it would get to be a Summer Set song. Stephen, John and Jess brought it to life and made it the soundtrack I’ve always dreamed of. I couldn’t be more proud of the result and it’s an honor to be making music with them again. This is just the beginning.
This song is about chasing the high of life as fast as you can, written by a guy who finally learned how to slow down and take in everything around him.”
The Summer Set bassist, Stephen Gomez also shared with us about how the group collectively brought the song to life:
“‘Street Lightning’ is a dreamy synth laden rock song that taps into the cinematic nature of an 80’s John Hughes movie, with the energy of an early 2000’a pop-rock band. The combination of ethereal synths and thick guitars feels like the natural progression for us from our last record “Stories For Monday” while also tapping into our roots, and also taking things in a new direction.”
That pretty much sums up how I felt hearing the song for the first time too. Goddamn, I am excited for The Summer Set’s refreshing new era.
Welcome back gang!
Words by Tamara May @citylightstam
Stream ‘Street Lightning’ here