Summer keeps a very active blog here: http://www.timingandlighting.com/blog
An awarded songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, piano, voice), Summer creates music that is candid, expressive, unpretentious… but most of all, genuine. Surprisingly tall in stature, – over six feet– with an unmistakable head of curly, dirty blond hair, and angular, striking facial features, she is visually intriguing before she even opens her mouth. And when she does, folks snap to attention. She’s one of those natural-born performers – instantly comfortable on stage, energetic, bravely forging an audience connection through story, jokes, and of course, song.
When watching Summer perform, one thing becomes instantly clear: she may be pouring her heart out to a packed room full of strangers, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. This serves as an important juxtaposition as the subject matter of her songs often touches on themes usually avoided by run-of-the-mill performers. Listeners will hear unabashedly, autobiographical stories recounting the childhood pain of coping with her mother’s mental illness, fate’s impersonal nature, and of all things, the properties of blood. (You’ll just have to listen to the song “Blood” to understand that one.)
She often displays her unique, poster-size pastel paintings (known, by Summer, as “my girls”) next to her on stage. Without exception, the subject matter of these paintings consists of colorful, abstract, female faces, transfixed with an unmistakably clear emotion. “The Girls” hail from a series of over 300 paintings that she created to go along with the release of her Timing and Lighting album.
At performances, she often relays why she felt compelled to bring just those specific paintings on that particular night. This gives her shows, not only a personal feel, but that feeling that you’re witnessing an event that won’t be repeated. Her unique stage show has received recognition by the likes of WXPN/World Cafe Live’s “Philly Rising Contest” and earned her a title as one of “Portland’s Top Ten Songwriters” by the Portland Songwriters Association.
No slave to genre when it comes to style, Summer explains, “My music is a little more dynamic than just “guitar chick” or “girl piano pop,” because at my core, I’m really a songwriter more than anything else.” Her pop songwriting has earned her recognition by the Billboard World Songwriting Contest, the Song of the Year Contest, among others. Timing and Lighting, her first full-length recording, keeps true to its pop nature, but makes forays into electro, emo, rock, and more than a little movie-soundtrack along the way.
Though dynamic, Summer’s new album is clearly held together by one, unmistakable constant… that voice. It’s a voice that couldn’t lie to you if it wanted to. Clear, young, confident– it’s not trying to sound “cutesy,” it is cute. It’s also teeming with the emotion behind the songs. In her songs, as in life– there’s a lot of bittersweet mixed with bits of silliness, the full gamut from joy to pain and back again.
When asked the seemingly harmless interview question of where she comes from, she’s tough to pin down. It seems that this girl has lived a little bit of everywhere, embodying the nomadic lifestyle that one of her most popular songs, “Have To Leave,” suggests. After spending her formative years in a small West Virginia town, she’s since taken up residence Tampa, FL, southern France, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland (OR), Miami, Philadelphia, and currently, Paris.