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Jeremy Zucker’s ‘summer,’ is a melancholy take on the season

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Zucker

By Amelia Calautti     10/3/18 12:00am

“Consumption of the product featured above may illuminate one or more of the following: Inability to judge the moral character of yourself or others … fear of ‘never doing enough’ … not knowing your place in this f---ed up world…”

This is the warning sign used as the cover art of Jeremy Zucker’s newest EP “summer,.” The strong message, balanced by a simple background of a night sky, is the perfect depiction of what it is like to delve into the musical world of this New Jersey native. With over 30 million streams on Spotify, Zucker’s previous single “all the kids are depressed,” is a good example of how this young artist is breaking male stereotypes and encouraging teens to get in touch with their sensitive sides. Utilizing raspy vocals, mellow electric beats and poetically pensive lyrics, Zucker evokes the feeling of a rainy day – a melancholy atmosphere in which time seems slowed and introspection is heightened. 

With its release on Sept. 27, “summer,” is a reflection on Zucker’s past few months. After graduating from Colorado College in the spring, this summer was the beginning of Zucker’s full-time devotion to his music career, and he isolated himself in his parent’s basement to write music. Thus, “summer,” is not a sunny, feel-good EP, but one focused on loneliness and nostalgia. 

“Summer, is supposed to feel like a vacation – infinite bliss, freedom,” Zucker said in his EP trailer. “But for me, it was stress.”  

The five-track EP transitions from rosy, warm melodies to dark, cold themes while still maintaining an overarching tranquil sound. The first track, “comethru,” is a simple song that makes its message clear: “Can you come through?” The track provides insight into his secluded, exhausting summer during which he realized that “it's alright to not be fine on your own” — an important reminder formulated into a lighthearted song. Just as he does in the next track “selfish,” Zucker seamlessly transforms heavy emotions of disarray into light and airy beats by melding passionate lyrics with simple acoustics and pop melodies. 

The EP climaxes with its second track, “thinking 2 much,” an uncredited collaboration with EDM artist EDEN. His influences are heard through his spoken word piece at the end of the song, as well as through the use of voice distortion and deeper electronic tones. This song is much more complex and musically diverse than any other song on the EP. Just as the song encourages “Slow down, take time / You're always thinking too much, baby,” the track induces a tranquility  over listeners with echoes, layered background sounds and a hint of white noise.

The last track of note is “desire,” a standout song on the EP for its beautiful portrayal of heartbreak. Zucker dives straight for transparency with the blunt first line, “Why do you cry with your hair tied up and my t-shirt on? / I guess I’ll be gone when the lease is up / Where did we go wrong?” His pain audibly intensifies throughout the track, beginning with a captivating acoustic riff and a whispered chorus but progressing to a strong drum beat and an outcry at the bridge. “Desire” illustrates everything I love about Jeremy Zucker – his ability to clearly express his sorrow in a beautiful and serene way.  

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