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  • Writer's picturecatecartermusic

Behind the Lyrics: "Summer in Love"

Summer in Love. I had written tracks 1-4 on this EP, along with about 20 other good songs, between May 2021 and March 2022 and after a hot streak like that, I entered a period of writer's block. I would try to write songs and they’d be only okay, or I’d sit down to write and nothing would happen. At this point, I was already in the studio recording my music so I started to freak out that all of my writing had been a lucky fluke and that maybe I actually wasn’t a good songwriter.

This was the summer of 2022 and my partner and I were both living with my grandparents on Long Island, New York. The opportunity to spend so much quality time with my grandparents was a gift I will never take for granted, but my day-to-day that summer was incredibly difficult. I was bartending at two restaurants to save up to move to LA and fund the making of my music. I was working like crazy and living for the Mondays and Tuesdays I would get to travel into Queens to record with my producer. Though life at my grandparents’ house was peaceful and lovely, it was just me and my boyfriend. We had no friends, no social life, no plans. Our lives were reduced to work - our jobs and our actual work, our art. The first verse describes this existence:

Waking up, some psychedelic dream / Day after day, the same or so they seem / How did I get here? Wasn’t the plan / Pouring wine and beer for hateful drunken men / And how did I get here? Someone let me know / Swam through rivers of shed tears, at least I’m not alone

One day, I was sitting on my bed messing around on my guitar and I just started writing. I was almost apathetic about the song as I was writing it because I hadn’t been able to write a great song in a long time, but when I was done, I had proved myself wrong. This song poured out of me because I wasn’t looking for something to write about. I had all of these feelings of dread about my current life with a silver lining: at least I’m living in this purgatory with someone I love. At least I’m not alone. The bridge shares these sentiments:

Through groundhogs days, and fleeting nights / You dry my tears, show me it’s alright / Through aching shifts, and knowing stares / Our nights consist, of magic affairs / In our summer in love, you’re my summer in love / You’re the only one, thank stars above for a summer in love

“Summer in Love” is my favorite track for a few reasons, the first being that I knew I could still write a great song. The other reasons, though, lie in the production. When my producer, John, and I were building this song, I knew I wanted my main guitar and melody to stand out and I wanted to create texture and color to support that. John crafted a beautiful acoustic picking sequence under the main guitar to add color. We created that song like a painting. It was blue and green, the shades that you’d see in an aurora. John added high pitched electric guitar towards the end mimicking sounds of seagulls at the beach to add to the summer ambiance. The way this song took shape was a simple and beautiful process.

This song is my reminder that even if I’m in a period of writer's block, songwriting is something that is innately a part of who I am. It’s how I process my life and my feelings. Some people can write on command, I can do that only sometimes. Most times I don’t get to decide, it just happens. But I’ll tell you what, the songs I can only write when they come to me are always worth waiting for.

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