January 17, 2017

GV5A1184

Douglas Martin doesn’t wear shorts, no matter the season.

Have you ever walked into a room so bright you feel as though the light could swallow you? Summer sometimes conveys that sensation, especially if the bedroom you wake up in is facing the east and you normally wake up sometime before 1 PM. “Summer,” the new single from tiny deaths, evokes a similar impression to letting the light engulf you.

If you’re not familiar with the duo—which you definitely should be—their sound marries swelling, triumphant grooves with the feeling of a sinking heart. The notion that love is going to turn out rotten (it usually does when you leave it out of the fridge for too long), but you can’t help but get swept up by it anyway. The tiny deaths sound is bolstered in “Summer,” with Grant Cutler’s instrumental carrying a wide-open grandiosity the band only hinted at in the past, the cold winter heartbreak of their earlier work replaced by fresh air and the aforementioned sunlight.

Claire de Lune recalls a New York summer locked in a dark apartment, smarting from the pain of heartbreak. She craves the words, the kiss, the touch of someone she knows is not long for her presence. “Hold me like you won’t let go,” she sings her singularly heartsick croon, “though we both know you will.” The dwindling fire of romantic love is a key theme in the songs of tiny deaths, the moment where a person knows a relationship is about to be snuffed out and is trying to futilely enjoy the dying flame. “Summer” is a song bathed in luminescence, but is very well-aware winter is not as far off as we want to believe.