The Summer Kills Last Night We Became Swans Art

REVIEW: Last Night We Became Swans by The Summer Kills

As April winds to a close here in Sydney, Australia the temperature is starting to drop and it is starting to finally feel like fall.

And the debut album LAST NIGHT WE BECAME SWANS from THE SUMMER KILLS is the essence of fall: cozy, romantic, warm and comforting.

The Summer Kills by Jack Spencer
The Summer Kills by Jack Spencer

THE SUMMER KILLS is a collaboration of musical greatness from MATTHEW RYAN (singer/songwriter) and HAMMOCK (ambient dynamic duo Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson).

On writing and recording, the band says, “The reason we’ve waited so long to realize it is mainly due to the fact that we’re relentlessly stubborn. We were dedicated to it being as perfect as possible. Having to satisfy each of our instincts and standards.”

I am glad they satisfied each of their instincts and standards as LAST NIGHT WE BECAME SWANS is a beautiful and poetic gift of 11 songs that will not only tug at your heart, but your soul.

The opening track, “ARE YOU AWAKE?” instantly transports one to a hushed moment between two souls and one is afraid to breathe or make a noise in fear of being caught in that private moment. “STOP” introduces traditional band instruments (guitars and drums) and it shines bright with the words written by Matthew. It is the perfect marriage of Matthew’s style and Hammock’s style of music coming together into one glorious heartbreaking blend of emotion. The first single from the album “COLLIDE” is an infectious beat driven tune that only gives one the urge to get in a car and drive away (or as I see in my head someone running towards wherever the other person is until they physically, emotionally, and spiritually collide together in a light of mirrorball beats as raised arms at a concert/club bury them within). “SUMMER KILLS” could be a song on any MATTHEW RYAN album and is a gut wrenching tune that just melts the heart. Once the music from “THERE IS NO TOMORROW” start, the sonic aural pleasure filling my ears is reminiscent of U2 and is so down right catchy that you want to put it on repeat for days on end. Another song that beautifully captures the separate style of each band but blends them together perfectly is “LIKE NEW YEAR’S DAY”. The haunting music provided by Marc and Andrew elevate the raw emotion that Matthew conveys through his words and voice. It is a harmonious magic that is absolute and stunning. The title track “LAST NIGHT WE BECAME SWANS” if there was a song that could be on any HAMMOCK album, then it is this song. Quiet. Comforting. “DON’T GO AWAY” is another perfect blend of music and words complimenting each other. Neither over powering the other but showing the strengths of the other. This song is just an epic ode to the talent of the three men. Though “FROM A HILL IN THE DARK SOUTH” seems simplistic in sound, it is an absolute heartbreaking song. This song will hit one in the feels. It’s just beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. With “CHALLENGER VS. STARS”, I know I keep saying perfect marriage, blend, whatever, but it’s true. Often when artists collaborate, they may sound great together but one can often tell the main influencer of the song, but with THE SUMMER KILLS, this trio sounds as if they have been a band all along and this song only solidifies that sound. Closing with “NOVEMBER” this song returns the listener back to the beginning of a moment. Reflective. Quiet. Sad. Hope.

This album did not disappoint from beginning to end. Fans of either artist or both will truly enjoy  LAST NIGHT WE BECAME SWANS.

Favorite Song on Album: “STOP”
Song to Play on Repeat: “THERE IS NO TOMORROW”
Must Listen to Song: “FROM A HILL IN THE DARK SOUTH”

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Photo by Jack Spencer