Summer

Summer

 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
BandPopAdult Contemporary

Vocally Driven Pop Music with Award-Winning Songwriting. Completed 300-piece series of poster-size paintings to accompany release of "Timing and Lighting." Displays select paintings onstage. Performs as a trio with Andrew Toy on drums and Chris Peace on bass. Expressive, authentic, candid.

Biography

An awarded songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, piano, voice), Summer creates music that is candid, expressive, unpretentious... but most of all, genuine. Surprisingly tall in stature, – over six feet– with an unmistakable head of curly, dirty blond hair, and angular, striking facial features, she is visually intriguing before she even opens her mouth. And when she does, folks snap to attention. She's one of those natural-born performers – instantly comfortable on stage, energetic, bravely forging an audience connection through story, jokes, and of course, song.

When watching Summer perform, one thing becomes instantly clear: she may be pouring her heart out to a packed room full of strangers, but she doesn't take herself too seriously. This serves as an important juxtaposition as the subject matter of her songs often touches on themes usually avoided by run-of-the-mill performers. Listeners will hear unabashedly, autobiographical stories recounting the childhood pain of coping with her mother's mental illness, fate's impersonal nature, and of all things, the properties of blood. (You'll just have to listen to understand that one.)

She often displays her unique, poster-size pastel paintings (known, by Summer, as “my girls”) next to her on stage. Without exception, the subject matter of these paintings consists of colorful, abstract, female faces, transfixed with an unmistakably clear emotion. “The Girls” hail from a series of over 300 paintings that she created to go along with the release of her Timing and Lighting album.

At performances, she often relays why she felt compelled to bring just those specific paintings on that particular night. This gives her shows, not only a personal feel, but that feeling that you're witnessing an event that won't be repeated. Her unique stage show has received recognition by the likes of WXPN/World Cafe Live's “Philly Rising Contest” and earned her a title as one of “Portland's Top Ten Songwriters” by the Portland Songwriting Association.

No slave to genre when it comes to style, Summer explains, “My music is a little more dynamic than just “guitar chick” or “girl piano pop,” because at my core, I'm really a songwriter more than anything else.” Her pop songwriting has earned her recognition by the Billboard World Songwriting Contest, the Song of the Year Contest, among others. Timing and Lighting, her first full-length recording, keeps true to its pop nature, but makes forays into electro, emo, rock, and more than a little movie-soundtrack along the way.

Though dynamic, Summer’s new album is clearly held together by one, unmistakable constant... that voice. It's a voice that couldn't lie to you if it wanted to. Clear, young, confident-- it's not trying to sound “cutesy,” it is cute. It's also teeming with the emotion behind the songs. In her songs, as in life-- there's a lot of bittersweet mixed with bits of silliness, the full gamut from joy to pain and back again.

She's currently performing as a duo with the exceptionally talented drummer, “Q” Danskine. Well-known throughout the Portland music community, Q had hung up his drum sticks for nearly two years until the enticement of being involved in Summer's project inspired him to set up his kit again. His chops, energy, wit, and adorable charm add even more energy to Summer's live shows.

When asked the seemingly harmless interview question of where she comes from, she's tough to pin down. It seems that this girl has lived a little bit of everywhere, embodying the nomadic lifestyle that one of her most popular songs, “Have To Leave,” suggests. After spending her formative years in a small West Virginia town, she's since taken up residence Tampa, southern France, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland (OR), Miami and currently, Philadelphia, where she's recently relocated to get closer to the Northeast music scene.

Lyrics

Have To Leave

Written By: Summer Virshup

I have to leave
I have to go
Of what's next
I don't pretend to know

I ate the food
And I walked the streets
Talked to the people
This city's been good to me

I've lived all over this country
And if there's one thing I know
It's that people don't live in places
They live in hearts and minds and souls

You say that I just keep moving
Yeah, you say that I can't keep still
Well, would you say the same of the ocean waves
Or the clouds on a windy day?
Or when the seasons change
Well, baby, you know my name

I have to leave
I have to go
Wish I had the time
To know you better

Will you remember me
As the girl with the crazy hair?
As adventure on the subway?
Or temptation?
Was I just temptation?

I wasn't trying to steal you away
I just wanted a few kisses more
But desire's got nothing on virtue
When you walk away
And then you stay away

So, just damn the timing
Damn the lighting
Damn everything that keeps it all out of reach
Just damn everything

I have to leave
I have to go
It always ends like this

I have to leave
And I, I have to go
It always ends like this
But it never ends...
It never really ends

Not A Love Song

Written By: Summer Virshup

I guess when they ask
That's what we'll say
That we did it for love
But we do it anyway

Muted conversation
So you pick up your pen
And you make up a story
Of what you think they meant

All these vacant ideas
Waste too much of my time
Why don't you bring the reason
And I'll bring the rhyme

It's not a love song
Well, not like you think
And by that
I don't mean anything

Everyone has a dream
Everyone has a plan
Of who they wanted to be
Where they wanted to land

Who cares where it comes from?
Even less where it goes
Who am I to argue
with what everyone knows?

It's not a love song
At least not to me
It's not no love song
Not like you would think
And by that, I don't mean anything

Faith, hope, and love
drive some people on
Me, I'll stay right on this bench and
And keep on playing my song

I'll do it for faith
I'll do it for hope
I'll even do it for love
Even if it's not my own

It's not a love song
At least not to me
No, it's not no love song
And by that
I don't mean anything

I guess when they ask
That's what we'll say
That we did it for love
But we do it anyway

Pink Elephants

Written By: Summer Virshup

I will not forget
Thrown babies at four a.m.
And I will not forget
How many times you broke that paddle on him

Or a junked-up house from bottom to top
With little pathways for us to walk
And I cannot forget the piano
And the handcuffs

But it's alright
It's okay
It don't matter that much now anyway
It's alright
It is okay
It don't matter that much
Anyway

It must have been hard
To grow up with a mother like yours
Please don't think I haven't thought of that before
And I feel for you
I mean, I really do
But I feel for me too

It's alright
It's okay
It don't matter that much now anyway
It's alright
It is okay
It don't matter that much
Anyway

I got over it
And I don't know if you
Need to get over it too
But if you do
This is me
Forgiving you

It's alright
It's okay
It don't matter that much now anyway
It's alright
It is okay
It don't matter that much
Anyway

That faded book
Of my childhood
Has long been closed
From now on, I will not bring it up
I will not discuss
What only
Pink Elephants know

It's alright
It's okay
It don't matter that much now anyway
It's alright
It is okay
It don't matter that much
Anyway

Discography

Timing and Lighting, Full-Length CD

Set List

Typical set: 45 minutes
Not A Love Song
Have To Leave
Messed Up
Timing And Lighting
Home
Close
Reason
Pink Elephants
Keep
Blood
Truth
Weather
Alright
Don't Blame Me
Stu's Song
Dealbreaker
See The Sing
Sorry
The Time
Best Dressed
Studying The Sun