BEST NEW TRACK: CHLOE LILAC - SUMMER
Brooklyn's Chloe Lilac gives us a last taste of summer with "Summer!"
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is drawing to a close. Everyone's going back to school. The vacations are all over. The music festivals are shuttered for another year. The sky grows overcast as the leaves begin their annual pyrotechnic choreography, dipped in gold and crimson.
The coming of the Autumn brings mixed feelings. On one hand, there's the excitement of new beginnings, as we turn to new projects for the upcoming cold-weather months. On the other, there's a certain wistfulness for the wildness and reckless abandon of Summer - the sweat, the sex, the all-night-parties, feeling that tomorrow will never come.
Up-and-coming indie singer/songwriter Chloe Lilac manages to encapsulate these layered emotions with "Summer," a truly stunning indie pop epic spelling out what it is to be young, reckless, and in love in almost hallucinatory detail.
CHLOE LILAC - SUMMER
It's not all good - the details, that is. "Summer" tells the story of young love and the heartbreak that so often accompanies it.
In the chorus, Lilac sings of some of her coping mechanisms:
"So I choose marijuana, cigarettes
I'm not gonna say I'm sorry
So I just met a boy I can't forget
James Dean on a fuckin' city bike."
It's about as rock-and-roll of a sentiment as you're likely to hear in 2018, especially in an indie pop song. Chloe Lilac may have garage punk mosh pit instincts, but "Summer" sounds like some mix of early The Cure and new wave indie rockers like Mitski or Frankie Cosmos, with psychedelic flanged guitars blossoming into booming, climactic choruses. There's even a tiny bit of toy piano!
Speaking on the origins of "Summer," Chloe Lilac says, "Summer 2018 was a very pivotal summer for me in my adolescent years. It’s a summer that I’ll never forget, and I felt an overwhelming desire to express it. That, and being a kid in New York City is such a magical reality I live that I’m extremely grateful for. I feel like this song really encompassed those experiences for me.”
"Summer" would sound equally at home on a festival big stage as a funky basement DIY venue. That speaks to big things for Chloe Lilac - she would be as at home in the underground as at the top of the charts. "Summer" is the follow-up to Lilac's last smash hit, "Stolen Liquor", which earned her the #1 spot on Hype Machine's Popular Chart.
At this rate, Chloe Lilac may be singing of her experiences at Coachella and Pitchfork Music Festival by Summer 2019. We Are: The Guard suspect those stories will still be as down-to-Earth and relatable, while still maintaining the heart, sweat, and spirit of rock 'n roll.
J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.