Summer Rental: Take Me With You Album Review

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By Lauren Floyd
Music Journalist

Artist: Summer Rental
Album: Take Me With You
Release date: Oct. 4, 2019

The first day of fall may have come and gone, but that hasn’t stopped Summer Rental from putting out their debut album. 

The self-branded “San Marcos loverboys” released Take Me With You on Oct. 4, with nine songs and topping off at about 23 minutes. I’ve been blasting it in my car ever since. Upon first listen, it might be easy to categorize these guys as iconic bedroom-pop artists in the making – lead vocalist Garrett Douglas reminded me so much of Phum Viphurit right off the bat – but after listening multiple times, I started to realize that Summer Rental offers much more than that. 

The 4 members of Summer Rental, from left to right; Sean McDermott (drums), Garrett Douglas (vocals), Sean Ryan (guitar), and Ben Steen (bass).
From left to right; Sean McDermott (drums), Garrett Douglas (vocals), Sean Ryan (guitar), and Ben Steen (bass). Photo by Kat Rose Rogers.

The album starts off with a charming, fast-paced introduction with the first two tracks “Tell Me Why” and “DK Mountain.” They contain classic elements of bedroom-pop such as a mix of dreamy background vocals and instrumentals that are extremely pleasing to listen to.

The songs “Ball & Chain” and “King of Beers,” however, offer a much different side of this band. The fast, intense drums behind Douglas’ suddenly aggressive and grungy vocals starkly contrast the sweet and melodic introduction we have to this album. While still maintaining the softness that they possess, Summer Rental is able to give us a taste of the punk side that definitely comes as a welcome surprise. 

Take Me With You slows down significantly towards the middle of the album with the sad, nostalgic song “Seventeen.” Douglas pours his heart out in this song, softly singing lyrics like, “It hurts to look at you, it hurts to look away” in a longing tone. Not only are the lyrics full of emotion, but the atmospheric nature of the soft drums and guitar in background mimic the emotion in the song. “Seventeen” is a turning point in the album that once again offers a sound miles different than the songs preceding it. 

From there, Take Me With You stays on a steady course. The ending track “Indie Waitress” is probably my favorite on the album and not only wraps up the album perfectly, but it is the bow on top of the gift that is this album. The track starts with a folky, acoustic instrumental with a harmonica in the background. Douglas goes on to belt out more heart-tugging lyrics, repeatedly singing “You’re my whole world, you’re my whole world” in a soothing, soft tone. 

Summer Rental’s debut album does a wonderful job at showcasing the talent of four of San Marcos’ own. They offer so much more than just another bedroom pop album; with a wide vocal range, Douglas is able to take their listeners on a journey through multiple genres. There are lyrics about love, there are lyrics about the desire to be successful, and there are lyrics that are just straight up fun to listen to.

Take Me With You covers all of its bases, and offers songs to both blast with your car windows down and cry to in the shower. This album is a much needed breath of fresh air and I will personally be keeping it on repeat all fall and winter. 

To keep up with Summer Rental and their upcoming shows, new music and more you can follow them on Instagram

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