The Rocket Summer—aka pop-rock wunderkind Bryce Avary—has resurfaced with the another new single. The release follows “Gone Too Long” and his ambitious, self-released 2016 album, Zoetic. Today we are stoked to premiere “Shatter Us,” the first track from Avary’s next album, Sweet Shivers, slated for release in late August.
“When I close my eyes and hear this song,” Avary begins, “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.”
It’s an interesting set of parameters that Avary set up for the track, but only a fan trapped in 2003 would deny his growth as both artist and music fan. Given his optimistic pop past, it’s incredulous to believe that Avary would be a fan of ’80s ethereal post-punk/goth icons Cocteau Twins. But influence can weave a mysterious thread, especially on “Shatter Us.”
“The bridge lyrics—‘Despite my head all wrong, you are all I want/ Cherry-colored love, on and on and on’—is a personal reference to the song ‘Cherry-coloured Funk’ by the Cocteau Twins. Heaven Or Las Vegas had been in my car CD player for the better part of a year: Every time I would start my car, it would start playing. I never got around to taking the CD out, so by default, the music became this background noise soundtrack of my life and my relationship. That album was a bit of a lighthearted mainstay in my life while writing this album.
“Despite being able to sing what phonetically sounds like every word of that entire record, Liz Fraser sings in her own mystical broken English language of sorts, so it became a bit of a personal inside gem of a joke that I would sing along to,” Avary says, letting us in on the backstory. “And naturally good vibes and laughter would ensue. So I put it into a lyric as a reminder to look back on. I never thought I would actually explain it…my music is often full of things like that that essentially only make sense to me and those personally in my life. But the beauty of music in general is that a song can mean something entirely different to someone else than what it means to me. Which in my mind is absolutely how it should be.”
While many artists are seemingly struggling to stay either relevant or vibrant, Avary has seemingly figured it out. After extricating himself from the major-label system seven years ago, he began self-releasing his work. Armed with melodic sensibilities, polymath talent (Avary plays everything on the impending album) and a personal ambition to seek out new sonic outcomes, Avary has consistently engaged his die-hard fans and accessed new listeners. From the plains of rural Texas to your devices, the Rocket Summer returns. Welcome back, good friend.
Sweet Shivers drops Aug. 2, and it’s available for preorder here. You can check out “Shatter Us” below.