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Summersets: Over Now

Sweetly harmonized vocals and inventive arrangements are featured here. 

Summersets: Over Now

By Kerry Doole

Summersets- Over Now (Independent): This Ottawa-based duo comprises acclaimed singer/songwriter Kalle Mattson and his childhood friend and long-time bandmate Andrew Sowka. Tomorrow (June 9), they release a debut album, Small Town Story, preceded by this focus track and video. The pair had previously released a six-song EP in 2020, and this new release comprises a 16-track narrative song cycle.


In a label press release, Mattson notes the cut is “one of a handful of songs on Small Town Story completely co-written between Andrew and me. He wrote the music/melodies, and I wrote the lyrics. I remember in the studio we were really influenced by this more obscure Wilco song Black Moon and it was our attempt at doing big CSNY-style vocal harmonies throughout. Lyrically, in the sequence of the album, it falls right after the two characters break up and fast forwards the timeline many years. A tricky yet important song to set up their eventual reconciliation and the latter third of the album/story. One of my favourites we’ve made as Summersets.”

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As with the rest of the album, Over Now features Mattson and Sowka singing together in Everly-esque harmony throughout. Mattson is renowned for his plaintive and gentle vocal style, and that is to the fore again here, with Sowka fitting in perfectly. The reflective tune features strings, guitar and keyboards meshing in interesting ways, and Jim Bryson's production is typically top-notch.

Small Town Story was recorded in short bursts of a song a day, spread over a three-year period, with producer Bryson (Kathleen Edwards, Weakerthans, Tragically Hip), who is one of only a handful of players on the record. After years of Zoom, “I wanted it to sound like people playing together in a room,” says Mattson. 

He describes the launch of the new project this way: "I had been ‘Kalle Mattson’ since I was 19 years old, and I had successes but wasn’t successful. I wanted a blank slate. I hope there will be people who listen to this and have no clue about my prior records. It was freeing to not only write in this new style and have this snowglobe of a record, so contained, but to have it not be just my face and my voice and have someone else to share it with.” 

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Summersets play four Ontario shows in September. Check the dates here

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Publicity: Ken Beattie, Killbeat

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Beyoncé

Beyoncé

FYI

The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: Beyoncé Country Hit A Win For Canadian Songwriters

Also in this week's roundup of industry news: Kayla Diamond launches her own boutique imprint, SOCAN names an ombudsman, and time's running out for noms for this year's Rosalie Award honouring trailblazing women in broadcasting.

Beyoncé becomes the first Black woman to top Billboard’s Country Songs chart with “Texas Hold ‘Em” and it has gone to No. 1 on iTunes in 14 different countries and counting. There are some surprising connections. The song is co-written and co-produced by Ontario-born writer/producer Nathan Ferraro, whose previous collaborations include working with Lady Gaga, Carly Rae Jepsen, Bear Mountain, RALPH, Shawn Hook, Alyssa Reid, Jessie Reyez, Lowell and Tyler Shaw.

In fact, the song has deep Canadian origins. Two other Canadian songwriters participated in this runaway hit: Megan Bülow (who records and performs as bülow) as and Elizabeth "Lowell" Boland (a.k.a. Lowell), with Ferraro co-producing the track with Killah B and Beyoncé.

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