Once you shrug the concept of the financial burden, there’s something dreamy about the idea of what a summer home represents: a place to run when the weather gets warmer, where you’re free to be whoever or whatever you want to be with no real consequence. Somewhere where you can embrace parts of your own identity that you’ve left buried and unattended and not feel ashamed of them. I found a place like that in the music of Long Island’s Summer Homes.
Their debut album, Post Human, allowed the part of myself that fell hard for the world of post-hardcore to resurface and find a moment of chaotic and pure catharsis in something that I had previously decided to walk away from. The band pulls influence from the worlds of post-hardcore, emo, and traditional indie-rock and all of those influences shine through on the record. There’s a frantic, fleeting energy to the tracks that make up Post Human. Each of the album’s eleven songs effortlessly flows into the next, creating the most harmonious marriage of all of the genres that they pull from.
Songs like “Color Theory” are the kind of blistering barn-burners that beat you into submission before you have a second to question it. It’s an emotionally charged confessional with enough pent-up aggression to carry you through its two minute run-time in what feels like a matter of seconds. The delivery of the songs pseudo-chorus is a wrought delivery of the lyrics “Forget everything and replace ourselves/Rebuild and construct a life where we can live and feel/Cause I just want to feel” and is sure to become a staple in their live-show moving forward.
There’s a song called “Foster” that keeps the vocals throaty and full of grit but brings a more mellowed and stable vibe to the record musically. Listening to it feels sort of like floating; you’re stuck bobbing through a sea of the vicious self-doubt and emptiness. There’s lyrics like “I was born at the turn of a century/Expected to fail/In a room with one light and broken window/These walls are so pale/And I’d pretend that you’d sing me to sleep/As the silence would cut through me/So I’ll write these songs in your vacancy” that paints a stark picture of what’s to come from the rest of this track. The song never picks up bast a gentle bob and wave and seems to have found some kind of peace with feeling abandoned and jaded.
The album closes with a song called “Summer Homes.” The beginning of the track feels insecure and shaky -presumably on purpose- and then dives full on into the enigmatic and powerfully crushing vocals that we’ve come to expect. Having your band’s namesake be the track that closes out your debut record is a risky move, but it’s one that paid off in spades here. It’s this powerful and unrelenting moment of release that feels uncontrollable. Once it starts, it’s never going to stop; driving listeners full-bore into emotional shipwreck territory.
When asked about the record, Summer Homes said: “Personally we’d like to think that the Post Human shows the aggressive yet melodic sound of our band, especially on the track Color Theory (which features guest vocals from Brendan Murphy of Counterparts). The album focuses on various subjects, mainly in reference to the struggles the people around us face. For example: Losing a loved one, Drug Addiction, The confusion of growing up as an adopted child, and appreciating what our parents did to raise us despite how much it took out of them.”
You can stream Post Human in full below.
Post Human is out now! Download your copy of the record here.