The Rocket Summer Shares New Single MORNING LIGHT, New Album Out 8/2
The Rocket Summer's "mastermind (Billboard)," multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter, and performer, Bryce Avary, shares the second single, "Morning Light," from his new album, Sweet Shivers, due out this summer, on August 2, 2019. Bryce Avary wrote an introduction to the newly released track for Talkhouse, and touched on the album's larger context, saying:
"For as long as I've heard and made music, the notes and the songs themselves have always evoked colors in my mind. Particularly with songs I write, new or old, they all are the same colors when I hear them now as they were at their birth. Songs are deep and royal blues, dark and light greens, solid blacks, whites, reds, golds and pinks, and sometimes mixtures of several. Morning Light" to me is a trio of yellow, black and white which eerily reminds me of the bee on the cover of this record. I've been told my whole life this is called synesthesia, but to me, this is something I believe everyone has to an extent. We all live inside a lifelong mental and spiritual battle of sorts in choosing to believe that we are alright when the noise and "the voice" in its cunning way attempts to tell us otherwise. The noise of your future, the noise of your past, the noise of the right here and now. This song is about shedding light onto that darkness of the mind that is trying to shadow and drown the colors that give day-to-day life its beauty. A bit of a mantra: lean into the colors, silence the voice.
The colors are already there, but do you see them? I sometimes can... and I sometimes can't. But this song is about choosing to at least stay in the fight to always keep my eyes open looking for them.
Last week, The Rocket Summer announced a 28-date North American tour. Fans will not only get to hear the new songs live for the first time, but can look forward to singing along to their favorite TRS classics. The up to 2-hour sets will have the quintessential high octane energy that Avary brings to every performance, balanced with intimate, cerebral moments, a delicate craft that Avary has curated and evolved since the dawn of his career.
VIP packages are available for all shows and include: one (1) general admission ticket, early entrance, an acoustic performance, an exclusive VIP tour laminate, a signed poster, and a meet & greet that includes a photo opp. An optional add-on is also available for anyone who wants a signed vinyl copy of Sweet Shivers. VIP and general admission tickets are all on-sale now. Tickets & details can be found at therocketsummer.com.
Avary writes to his fans: "The Rocket Summer Tour 2019. It's time. Playing live and living within the spirit of the collective heartbeat we share inside these rooms, around these songs, is like oxygen to me. Join me as I finally come up for air. My band and I, along with you, plan to annihilate the spirit of the mundane and throw color into the grey night after night. I need this, I need you and I can't wait to see you soon."
The new album, Sweet Shivers, was announced alongside a pre-order campaign, including exclusive limited items ranging from handwritten lyrics to vinyl test pressings, and instruments used on the recording, many of which sold out within hours of launch. Avary's highly-anticipated, seventh studio album, Sweet Shivers was crafted between a rural Texan cabin and Los Angeles, bringing a broad perspective that permeates the album. Like the bumblebee that graces the album's cover who sees color differently than humans, the collection of songs invites listeners to try on a new perceptive lens. The album is Avary's first since 2016's critically-acclaimed Zoetic which was praised by New Noise Magazine as "undoubtedly The Rocket Summer's best release," and marks another defiant step forward in his sonic evolution following sold out dates on his most recent headlining tour.
For a first taste of Sweet Shivers, The Rocker Summer also recently shared the anthemic, debut single, "Shatter Us." The brand new video explores the emotion that builds in the song through dancer / actress Brianna Brill, and fans get a cameo of Bryce Avary. The song debuted exclusively on Alternative Press. Avary says, "when I close my eyes and hear this song... I envision it being nighttime and buildings all around me seemingly crumbling yet refusing to allow the wreckage and debris take down what's most important in my life. I don't hear it as a 'woe is me' type of lyric, but rather more of a battle cry to refuse to slip when the rain is pummeling. Sonically, I wanted to paint a picture that was explosive and calm, soft and violent." The song sets the stage for the forthcoming album and the project's "veritable army of die-hard fans (Diffuser FM)" can secure their tickets to see it performed live, starting June 5.
SWEET SHIVERS TOUR DATES
9/10 - Rebel Lounge - Phoenix, AZ
9/12 - 3TEN - Austin, TX
9/13 - The Kessler - Dallas, TX
9/14 - White Oak Upstairs - Houston, TX
9/17 - The Social - Orlando, FL
9/19 - Exit/In - Nashville, TN
9/20 - Masquerade Hell - Atlanta, GA
9/21 - Cat's Cradle Back Room, Carrboro, NC
9/22 - Visulite - Charlotte, NC
9/24 - Union Stage - Washington, DC
9/25 - The Foundry - Philadelphia, PA
9/27 - ONCE Somerville - Boston, MA
9/28 - Gramercy - New York, NY
9/29 - Rec Room - Buffalo, NY
10/1 - Lee's Palace - Toronto, ON
10/3 - Musica - Akron, OH
10/4 - The Loving Touch - Detroit, MI
10/5 - Chop Shop - Chicago, IL
10/6 - Amsterdam - Minneapolis, MN
10/8 - Riot Room, Kansas City, MO
10/10 - Marquis - Denver, CO
10/11 - In The Venue - Salt Lake City, UT
10/13 - Crocodile - Seattle, WA
10/14 - Lola's Room - Portland, OR
10/16 - Starline, Oakland, CA
10/17 - The Roxy - Los Angeles, CA
10/18 - Soda Bar - San Diego, CA
Creative output has never been an issue for Bryce Avary, better known by his long-time moniker The Rocket Summer. While for some, songs come in a steady drip, Avary has always been drinking from the proverbial fire hose. The origin story of his new album Sweet Shivers then, which traces multiple studios in different cities, is not one of writer's block. Songwriting for Avary is the air he breathes, and the only grand design in recent years has been to live. "Writing is where I feel most normal, it's where I come alive" he reflects. "It's therapeutic, so I just keep writing until I'm buried in too much material. Somehow my twisted logic to get out from under the mountain of songs is to just write even more." It wasn't until he sat down to comb through fifty plus songs and ideas that an album began to crystalize.
Fans have flocked to Avary's optimistic and exuberant song-craft and the community it inspires for years, and to that end Sweet Shivers does not disappoint; but the album is multi-dimensional and nuanced. After several years living in Los Angeles, Avary decamped to a cabin in rural Texas to recharge and find inspiration. Avary explains the motivation, saying "I wanted to write the album from different geographical locations to help inform and inspire different viewpoints". After acclimating to big city life, isolation proved reflective and often difficult, but moments of serendipity helped point the way. "Right when I got to Texas, this honeybee landed directly in front of me and seemed as though it was almost trying to communicate. Parts of my life felt a bit upside down at this time, and the bee just hung out with me for a bit. I thought about how bees see flowers differently from humans and in at that moment I realized maybe the message was perhaps there's a beauty in seeing from a different perspective; perhaps I need to see like the bee." Avary snapped a photo that ultimately would become the album cover, but it's centricity to the album wouldn't become clear until looking back later. Avary explains, "to me this whole record and just the overall theme of my life the last couple of years is finding beauty in seeing from a different perspective, especially when areas of life feel a bit convoluted." The resulting album is modern and alive, and an honest reflection on both where Avary has been, and where he's going.
From the moment he exploded onto the scene as a teenager in the early 2000s at the forefront of a wave of indie pop, Avary has been a musical force. Charging out of Texas and onto the international stage he has never been in short supply of ear-worm hooks and effortless charm. The Rocket Summer's first full-length album, Calendar Days, won considerable national attention in 2003 before being followed by 2005's Hello, Good Friend, which peaked at No. 26 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.
The Rocket Summer's indie success helped to win Avary a deal with Island/Def Jam, which released Do You Feel in 2007. That album reached the Top 50 on the Billboard album charts and #16 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums charts, while spawning a pair of popular singles in "So Much Love" and "Do You Feel." Of Men and Angels followed in 2010, debuting at #1 on iTunes and producing hits in "Walls", "You Gotta Believe", and "Hills and Valleys".
For the Rocket Summer's 2012 album Life Will Write the Words Avary followed his dream of starting his own label, moving from Island/Def Jam to his own Aviate Records. The album debuted at #58 on the Billboard Top 200 and #12 on Billboard's Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums chart. 2016's follow up Zoetic marked a sonic departure from Avary's previous work as he forged into unexplored territory and more experimental sounds, described by Substream Magazine as "if Trent Reznor, Mutemath and Paper Route formed a super group in secret." The album was The Rocket Summer's best critically received, with high praise from Paste who wrote "Zoetic proves Bryce a master at creating catchy, upbeat anthems".
Debuting at such a young age, Avary has matured musically and emotionally alongside his fans, from indie pop crooner to indie rock mainstay. Perhaps that fact reflects the bond he feels with his fans and their loyalty. In a digital world that obfuscates human interaction, Avary has remained steadfastly committed to maintaining direct relationships with those who support him, and for all the rock star looks and performances, Avary is betrayed by the simple fact that he's a genuinely and intensely good person.
Now with Sweet Shivers, Avary's musical evolution and the breadth of his songwriting is on full display. The album is stunningly expansive, from the opening crescendos of "Morning Light" to the frenetic closing notes of "m & m". There are hallmarks of Avary's familiar songwriting style in lyrics that manage to be both extremely personal and universally applicable. There are crowd anthems in the defiant song "Shatter Us." The common sonic thread throughout is a commitment to the organic process. "I wanted to make sure I put real microphones in front of real drums and physically played them," Avary notes. "Real microphones in front of real guitars, pianos and amplifiers to keep it fully human. Every note is performed outside the computer." As with previous records, Avary's musical virtuosity is apparent. He wrote, produced, recorded, mixed, and performed every instrument on the album.
There's an underlying forward motion that propels the album. Indeed, the hunger for constant progress has underscored much of Avary's life and career. In late 2018 he returned to LA to finish the album and chart his path forward. For Avary, there's a basic desire that sets his course, and as is often the case with The Rocket Summer, the lyrics speak best for themselves. Halfway through the album in an unassuming interlude is a simple claim: "I want a life with the world in it".