An amorphous tangled mass floats ominously in the sky, hovering over Sunset Boulevard. But all is well, as we see our animated protagonist – a superhero version of Summer Heart – zooming around LA on his motorbike.
These would be the bright and romantically-charged brand new visuals from the Swedish rising star, aka David Alexander, with his new track “Good Together” – a euphoric dose of dream-pop with 80s-style production and Summer Heart’s optimistic vocals.
Taken from his forthcoming EP, “Ambitions”, it bolsters the narrative of his inspirational recent trip to California, capturing the freedom he felt while over there, and his journey so far. Having been performing independently for over eight years, Summer Heart is now signed to the renowned Swedish label Icons Creating Evil Art – and with “Good Together” sure to dominate the soundwaves, 2020 is looking to be his year.
“Riding a motorcycle is one of the most freeing feelings I can think of,” explains Summer Heart, speaking about the inspiration behind the video. “It’s freedom to me. I’ve really needed that a lot lately. I dig motorcycles tattoos and suits. When I think of those things they sound so manly to me but they feel so right. I really wanted to give it a go and see if I could pull em off.”
Hi David, how has this uncertain time been for you? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
It’s been such a weird year. Like for everyone who performs for a living this pandemic has hit hard. Cancelled tours mean no income and all that. At the same time it has forced me to get out of old habits. At first I found it difficult to stay inspired and I couldn’t really get anything done at all. Now I’ve found some solitude in staying in working on music in my tiny bedroom studio both day and night.
How did growing up in Sweden influence you musically? Who did you listen to growing up?
Oh I listened to such a wide variety of music when I was growing up. I liked a lot of guitar bands but also a lot of hip hop. I didn’t really have any favourite artists until I heard Smashing Pumpkins at some point in the late 90s. I got into their albums Adore and Machina. But the album that really changed my life came out in 2002. Interpol’s Turn on the Bright Lights. It’s still one of my favourite albums. But yeah, I think music was my way out of Sweden. I always felt like an outsider in Sweden and music has let me travel to places I never thought I would experience.
How did you come up with your moniker Summer Heart?
Not really sure how that came about. I thought it sounded sweet and worked well with my sound at the time and I went for it. Since then I’ve gotten so used to it and I haven’t really thought too much about it to be honest.
Congratulations on your latest single “Good Together” – what is it about and inspired by?
Thank you very much. It’s about my time in Los Angeles. And it’s also about getting out of destructive relationships but once out only being able to remember the good parts.
The visuals are amazing, quite ominous and trippy – what did you want to convey with it?
I had in mind this modest superhero who could help people conquer negative thoughts. A superhero in a white suit on a motorbike. I have always liked that idea.
Where do you think you pull the majority of your inspiration from?
Just walking around the city watching people, street art or interesting architecture can be really inspiring. I guess I always look for inspiration in the small things. For some reason I find big airports inspiring as well.
You’ve been performing independently for 8 years and are now signed – what’s been the biggest differences in your music for you?
I actually never thought I would sign with a label. I’ve always enjoyed doing everything on my own. But I met with the right people and realised it was time to try something new. It’s inspiring to have a team of people you call friends around you.
How have you progressed sonically in these 8 years?
I’ve become a better songwriter and producer. For the most part I think that is a good thing. Some of the rawness of my old sound is gone. But it has been replaced with some finesse and interesting details. I try not to think too much when I work. I rely on flow and I’m ready to grind when the flow is not there, but I try to keep my brain turned off in the process or it will just interfere by questioning each and every decision.
And you’ve got your new EP “Ambitions” out next – why that name? And what pulls it together as a body of work?
The songs are different scenes from my days in Los Angeles. It’s about dealing with having high ambitions, never being satisfied and always wanting more.
Ultimately how do you want your music to make people feel?
I want my music to make people feel free. I want it to help people become the best version of themselves.
What’s next and what are you looking forward to?
One thing I’m really looking forward to is developing this animated series. I’m interested to see where I can take it next. I like the idea of having an animated version of myself that is capable of things the physical me is not capable of. Other than that I’m looking forward to releasing more new music.