Mason Summit – Summer Cold
Label: Winter Heat Records
Usually I’d say that summer colds are the worst. Not so, this time. Mason Summit’s Summer Cold is one you should be thankful for paying a visit. These songs will get you through any suffering, any time of year. It is quite simply, the best new album of 2018. (I know it’s early, but trust me, I’m never wrong about matters as important as this.)
For his fourth album, Mason Summit proves that even after consistently putting out impressive material on his previous releases, he is only getting better. If you’re not already familiar with Mason Summit, just know that Summer Cold is an album that will introduce you to one of the most talented artists of his generation.
Summer Cold presents song sketches of specific moments — moments we’ve all admitted or ignored. 21st century troubadour Mason Summit captures them with such startling clarity that they sound like diary entries at the moment they are being written. Raw, emotionally messy, logical, brave, keenly observant, sometimes contradictory, often hopeful, and always real. Meanwhile, the music itself is so irresistible and full of micro-surprises that listening to each track is its own rewarding experience.
Mason Summit is so unique and original that I feel there is no danger in making mention of a classic group in artistic comparison: Not since the musical poetry of Simon & Garfunkel has there been so intimate and intelligent a listening experience as Mason Summit. (I just may wear out the ‘repeat’ button on my CD player due to my obsession with his spellbinding song “7th & Santa Fe.”) His songwriting skills are so strong, so full of vision, that it far too easy to overlook his intelligent, easy vocal delivery. And then there’s that impeccable Mason Summit taste — it applies to everything he does, from subject matter, to instrumentation, to choices made in the production process. He is a one-man throwback to the glory days of pop and rock music, all the while bringing a decidedly contemporary (and even forward-thinking) vibe to his work. With Summer Cold, Mason Summit has moved from being an artist ‘influenced by…’ to an artist destined to influence others.
Mason Summit performed, engineered, and mixed most of the album at home. Some tracks were created with the collaboration of John Groover McDuffie (engineering, mixing), Jarren Heidelberg (drums), Jeff Frantom (bass), and Sebastian Jones (mix consultation).
I expect many more albums of such lyrical depth and musical brilliance; at least Mason Summit will never break up with himself, right? Then again, I’m sure even that would result in another superb album, since there’s obviously nothing Mason Summit can’t turn into musical gold. Even the moments that feel as insufferable as a summer cold.
Essential Downloads: “Take What I Can Get,” “Catch & Release,” “7th & Santa Fe.”
You can visit Mason Summit’s website by clicking here.