You hear this confluence on the trio’s latest offering, “Shimmer.” Dropping on July 14th, the track’s glittery-sounding title ultimately references a mirage effect: That meanings and feelings behind places and people change with time, often outside of one’s grasp.
Made up of multi-instrumentalists Jake Stam, Matt Montgomery, and Tim Coakley, Summerdrive debuted in 2018 with EP Wild In Our Ways and followed that three years later with Be The Change, which has since earned over 4 million cumulative streams. We had a chance to speak with them about “Shimmer.”
What about retro production and sounds inspires you?
Collectively, all of our favorite artists have records with retro productions, specifically artists such as The Killers, The 1975, Walk The Moon, and Coldplay. The songs from these artists are drenched in ‘80s influence, with lush and vibrant sounds that both excite and inspire us.
How did you get started as a band?
Initially, the band started with Jake and Matt, who have been best friends since the first grade. The two began releasing music under the band name Friends At The Falls in 2018. Jake and Tim met in college, and at first, Tim was helping out as a touring member and providing some additional production and mixing to certain songs. It wasn’t until this year in 2023 that Tim officially joined the band to round out the lineup, and we decided to rebrand with the new band name Summerdrive. We feel that with this complete lineup, we’re making the best music we’ve ever made, and we can’t wait for this new chapter as a band.
How would you describe your sound?
We would describe our sound as indie/alternative leaning with rock and pop influences. Some words we might use to describe our songs are upbeat, nostalgic, and anthemic.
What influenced your decision to change your name from Friends At The Falls?
With the addition of Tim joining the band and what felt like a big shift in momentum, we felt like it was time for a change. We wanted the fresh feeling of a new project without completely starting from scratch. Also, to be completely transparent, we felt that Friends At The Falls was too much of a mouthful. Comparatively, Summerdrive just rolls off the tongue much easier, and we think that it’s a stronger band name overall.
Tell us about “Shimmer”: What inspired the track?
The overarching inspiration behind the song is chasing a feeling that has faded. Visiting the places that you’ve been with someone, whether it be a friend or partner, and those places not holding the same meaning as they once did. Ultimately realizing that sometimes it’s out of our control how these things end up.
As you’re all multi-instrumentalists, how do you compose a song? What’s been your process?
The songwriting process varies per song, but generally Jake or Tim will present the skeleton of a new song and/or occasionally present a song that is fully written out. In some cases, we’ll start a song by jamming ideas out together in a room. But ultimately when a song is in the early demo phase and still being worked out, we’ll all bounce ideas off one another to figure out the layout, arrangement, production, music, melody, and lyrics.
Considering the success of 2021’s Be The Change EP, what are your plans for a follow up?
We already have a new EP written, recorded, and ready to be released. Our plan is to release a new song every two months or so, culminating in a six-song EP. We also hope to have consistent growth on our socials, as well a vigorous tour schedule and play a ton of live shows to maximize engagement with our fans.
The Be The Change EP also saw significant success, seeing over 4 million streams. How did this feel for you as a band?
The Be The Change EP was significant to us for many reasons. We’re very proud of the songs on that record, and we’re ultimately happy that so many people have been able to connect to the songs. We generally try to not focus on numbers and metrics too much, but it was a big milestone for us to have our song “Be The Change” be our first track to pass 1 million streams on Spotify. We have to remind ourselves that it’s important to celebrate wins along the way, however big or small.