With an eclectic background of musicianship ranging from power-pop to contemporary Americana, Mason Summit’s voracity for consuming the old guard as well as the new classics has been ever-present throughout his career. On Summer Cold, Summit’s latest release, one of the greatest treats is hearing the young troubadour develop a style that is derived from his influences while bringing a necessary amount of contemporary flare to the table. Gifted, as always, Summer Cold is yet another charming release from a singer-songwriter who has clearly studied his music history.
To describe Summit’s latest as jangle-pop, indie-rock or new wave influenced would be somewhat reductionist, if not only in reference to style but also to the music’s intent. Summer Cold is much more ambitious than any paisley-clad lad of the above genres might be pegged for, though the common theme of looming existential dread that accompanies the lighthearted music is ever-present – and rightfully so!
Without laying on the Elliot Smith comparison too thick, Summer Cold sounds as though it would’ve been an ideal release during the Either/Or era, a collection of tracks that sonically lands on the cusp of the indie bubble about to burst. “Catch & Release” is a perfect example of this tender and meticulously calculated songwriting. Like Smith, an earlier roots-rock influence lays beneath the surface of Summit’s work, bringing this release full-circle in many ways.
The other peculiar function of Summer Cold is the insight into Summit that we receive that was perhaps less visible on previous releases. Even the fun intersection of “Casu Marzu“ and “7th & Santa Fe” reveal more about Summit’s acquiescence of his Angelino status, but more importantly, his ability to showcase real love for a myriad genres and styles within his wheelhouse. Keep a close eye on Summit, folks.