Lael Summer – “Too Much”


Lael Summer’s soulfully infectious delivery is reminiscent of two bits of nostalgia for me: classic soul tracks from Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, and Style Council efforts featuring Dee Lee on lead vocals. Both of those combine for a delightful and accessible sound. Summer, an NYC native, has been singing since age two, and by age 14 was opening for Jon Anderson (Yes) at B.B. King’s. Currently a senior at the University of Southern California’s Popular Music program, Summer has a new album out by the name of Burden to Bear.

One of the best displays of Summer’s vocal abilities and her backing band’s smooth playing is “Too Much”, a lush and seductive piece of soul-pop where Tomás Doncker’s smooth guitars intertwine with emotive brass bursts. The track also has some interesting words on anxiety and insecurity, particularly on how to overcome them. “I grew up thinkin’ that I was weak, a self-fulfilling prophecy,” she croons at one point, before going into a chorus mulling that “‘Cuz I feel too much and I think too much.” The words are strong and empowering in typical female-fronted soul passion, but there’s little typical about Summer’s sound. Her new album Burden to Bear, which you can stream below or buy on Bandcamp, is fully representative of her accessible yet unique features:

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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