Premiere: Sparks Fade in Summer Fires’ Turbulent “Without a Word”

Without a Word - Summer Fires
A song about unbalanced love, Summer Fires’ tension-filled “Without a Word” glows with the smoldering, dark embers of an ill-fated relationship.

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We at Atwood Magazine try, on a daily basis, to use our words to boil down certain “essences” of music and of love – two phenomena that are intrinsically out of words’ reach. If we could say what we wanted to express through words alone, music certainly would have diminished importance in our lives. The same goes for love – a feeling that transcends all else. Neither words nor music can ever hope to truly quantify or qualify love, yet we have to grapple with it somehow.

The same goes for loss of love. On their new single “Without a Word,” Texas-based Summer Fires express, through both music and words, the smoldering embers of an ill-fated relationship, tracking two souls’ courses as they distance themselves from one another. It’s a tragedy-in-action, the live retelling of a close we can relate to only too well.

Another battle on the bedroom floor
Something I have often thought before
I think you see me
But never really know
And I can feel it down in my soul
I know you feel it as you beg for more
The desperation grows inside my head
And time slips away all day
Time slips away all day
“Without a Word” – Summer Fires

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Without a Word,” the second single off Summer Fires upcoming EP of the same name. Consisting of J.P. Welsh on vocals, guitars, and keys, Seth Bellon on bass guitar, Scotty Barnes on drums, Jeremy Stein on guitar, and Matt Gilmour on vocals and guitar, Summer Fires began in 2013 as a solo project for frontman Welsh as he was applying to law school. Formed in Austin, the band’s full realization coincided with Welsh’s decision to leave law school and focus his energies around music.

Without a Word - Summer Fires

Without a Word – Summer Fires

Without a Word is the 7-track culmination of the past five years, a milestone for the group who have honed their skills gigging all over Texas’ renowned music city. Opening the EP, the title track introduces us not only to Summer Fires’ sound, but also to their ability to offer narrative and evoke emotion through song. Bandleader Welsh calls “Without a Word” a “story about an unbalanced love,” the details of which come to life in his harrowing verses and heartfelt, punching choruses:

After dinner you’re a falling star
Tracing lines that turn to scars
If only words would last this long
Tell me lover, is there more to this?
When I see you will I get your kiss?
The silent lies you say without a word
And you fade away all day
You fade away all day

According to Welsh, the song captures the point “when someone is so blindly in love that they continually make excuses and exceptions for their flame’s repeated disappointments.” As the guitars jettison dark energies and the soundspace fills with tension, so too does Summer Fires’ story – eventually culminating in a bombastic chorus that signals a relationship’s fracture:

I don’t mind
The beating of your jealous little heart in time
It helps to ease the thoughts inside my head
So take your time
There’s nothing coming now but the sweet decline
And there’s no place that I’d rather you be, than here with me

As complex as this story dives, Summer Fires’ ability to simplify a failing relationship down to its most rudimentary parts is what allows “Without a Word” to resonate with listeners. “You fade away,” repeats Welsh over and over and over again… These three words say it all: As communication between two people breaks down, they drift apart, slowly at first, and then increasingly quicker – eventually to the point of no return.

That’s where their story ends, and Summer Fires’ story begins.

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Without a Word - Summer Fires

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com