When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And in Sarah Summer’s case, when life gives you a raw musical talent, make a wondrous indie folk single and homemade video along with it. And then go on a DIY tour to top it all off.
Creating meaningful, well-written music is a struggle in itself. Now imagine being an independent, female artist trying to write said music, and you have the dilemma faced by Summer and her cohorts in the artistic world. “I think that some people will have the impression that I’m against the world and that sensation really propels me,” says the Summerville native as she anticipates her future in music. “Just being on the stage with all those eyes on you … it’s quite uncomfortable. I just have to push that aside, that’s the narrative of being a person who is making art.”
Summer capitalizes on the idea of exposing oneself to the world in her newly released single, “Be Yourself.” The song speaks to the trials and tribulations of being and artist, and simply existing beyond the bounds of any expectation. Summer challenges the idea of living a life outside of your own, closing the song with a simple-yet-defiant, “No one’s gonna tell me what to do or say.”
Lyrics ebb and flow over a calming melody, reminding listeners that no calamity can withstand the comfort of being true to oneself.
The accompanying video is riddled with earthy images, reflecting all of the independent ideas that Summer stands behind. A butterfly is perched on a barren desert landscape and a remote-controlled plane is spiraling downward. These images drift along as the video addresses ideas of control and life.
“There are these serendipitous instances, these gusts of wind if you will, that force sudden change en route. Either a crash landing or a swift turn to the right at just the correct moment,” says Summer.
Throughout her travels across the country, Summer has forged a sound that is a culmination of her experiences and ideas, ethereally presented in her songwriting. She says, “ … I just have this hope that I’m just some kind of flower blooming through the rubble. Hope is rooted in every song I write, no matter how dark or bright it sounds.”
Summer’s Solstice tour begins this month and will continue in August, in both Oregon and California. “Be Yourself” is available on iTunes, Spotify, and CD Baby, and her EP is out in August.