A radiant record built on passion and substance, Spring Summer’s debut album ‘T.E.A.R.S’ is a reclamation, a reflection, and a rediscovery: Visceral and vulnerable, its stirring, sweet indie folk and pop capture a long-held vision of self-expression, emotional release, connection, and collaboration.
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Stream: “Mountaineer” – Spring Summer
Gorgeously glistening and achingly honest, Spring Summer’s debut album is as much a dream come true for the artist as it is a harbinger of dreams to all who listen: A radiant record built on passion and substance, T.E.A.R.S is a reclamation, a reflection, and a rediscovery: Visceral and vulnerable, its stirring, sweet indie folk and pop capture a long-held vision of self-expression, emotional release, connection, and collaboration.
I was alone before they brought you here
Sitting out the storm it’s been a heavy year
The rain clouds your eyes, I can feel your fear
I’ve been hardened by you darling dear
Still there are days
I long for you
I am tough as nails, I am a mountaineer
I will climb these jagged peaks
and leave the valleys for you dear
I am a mountaineer
Independently released July 15, 2022, T.E.A.R.S is an entrancing, enchanting introduction to Spring Summer, the musical moniker for San Francisco-based singer/songwriter Jennifer Furches. A multi-instrumentalist with performance and recording credits for artists including Cass McCombs, Sea Wolf, Coconut Records, Patrick Park and Ben Lee, Furches has been working in and around the music industry for several years, but this is her first venture as a solo artist.
To say this is a long time coming would be an understatement: Furches spent much of the past decade raising her three children and balancing her work as a script supervisor for major feature films and commercials.
“Juggling three kids, making a movie, and finishing a record all at the same time was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, but it’s already been so rewarding to share this part of me with my family,” Furches tells Atwood Magazine. “Since I was 11, my world had revolved around listening to and playing music. When I had my babies, my world needed to revolve around them for a while. I lost so much of who I had been. In a really desperate moment I talked with this parent coach, who I thought was going to give me specific tips to make being a mom easier, and instead she asked me all these questions about my fantasy life. It was the first time in years I’d really said out loud what I wanted to be doing…which led pretty directly to this record. And she sure knew what she was doing: Being a mom DID become easier when I prioritized myself.”
I realized I was showing my kids how important it is – for all the reasons – to pursue their own dreams.
Music has always been Furches’ first love, and when she finally set about making this album, she did so with partnership and collaboration in mind. To that end, T.E.A.R.S was recorded with producer Jenny lee Lindberg of Warpaint and Coconut Records’ Jason Schwartzman, who played drums on most of the album’s tracks.
“I wanted to work with friends,” Furches says. “I wanted to stretch as far as I could stylistically… to go outside my comfort zone. I wanted to learn new things. Whether the record is considered a success or not by the outside world remains to be seen, but for me it was and is all that I hoped it would be.
The album’s title, T.E.A.R.S, is both an acronym and an empowering embrace of the multitude of feelings flowing freely within and throughout these songs.
“That last song on the album had no name, and I’d refer to it as the Take ‘Em and Run song… which was abbreviated on set lists as T.E.A.R.S,” Furches explains. “There was a last verse to it, which we cut out: “When we can be together and not fall apart every time, we’ll make up for the days we’ve lost. Take ‘em and run, whatever the cost. I’m yours and you’re mine.” The lyrics weren’t great but I liked the hopeful feeling behind them. When it came time to name the album it just made the most sense to me. There’s a lot of feelings here: sad, happy, angry, disappointed… I want the overall feeling to be: Hopeful.”
And hopeful it is, though to describe this album with just a single word would be a sore disservice to the multi-dimensional lyrics, emotions, and sounds Furches and co have so tirelessly brought to life. From the opening charisma and drive of “Mountaineer” and “It’s Always Been You” to the cinematic pop and fervor of “Show Yourself Out,” to the tender churn of “Small Town,” “Last One,” and “QMII,” and the warm, wondrous fragility of “Bitter Cold” and the title track, T.E.A.R.S has a little bit of something for everyone and every day: Furches moves through feelings of self-discovery and rediscovery, reckoning and reflection, pain, insecurity, uncertainty, hope, redemption, and so much more whilst dazzling the ears and tickling the heart.
“‘Small Town’ is I think my favorite because we recorded it first,” the artist observes. “I didn’t know then if we were going to make a whole record. All I knew is we were making this one song. Everything else fell into place from there. I love lyrics, and as a music lover it’s the part of a song I listen to the most. With my own lyrics, my favorite moments are sometimes the accidents… In “T.E.A.R.S” for instance: “Change, what an endeavor—unless our stars align. Dark corners of my mind,” the original lyric was, “I’m in my thoughts all the time.” Like the dreamy person I am. But in one vocal take I mistakenly sang, “He’s in my thoughts all the time” and I thought: Keep it! It’s more mysterious and sonically better.”
With tremendous layers of intent and just a little bit of luck, Spring Summer’s debut album has turned out to evoke the heat, light, and spirits of rejuvenation and reverie that define the two seasons in her artist name.
T.E.A.R.S is ultimately a celebration not only of a singer/songwriter finding (and embracing) her own inner light, but also a loving collection of songs celebrating life’s meaningful moments big and small.
“For those who listen to lyrics, I hope there’s something in there to relate to,” Furches shares. “For those who listen to the music, I just hope it’s an album that can do for folks what good music does for me: Make a road trip more fun, or a backyard BBQ more lively! And for me: I’ll just keep making music.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Spring Summer’s T.E.A.R.S with Atwood Magazine as Jennifer Furches goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of solo debut!
Stream: ‘T.E.A.R.S’ – Spring Summer
:: Inside T.E.A.R.S ::
This is the oldest song on the record — it started as a folk song in 6/8. With Jason and Jenny’s input, it really transformed into more of a rock song. We recorded the original very simple version too, and I made a cassette with them both — you can pick it up if you make it out to see us live!
It’s Always Been You
This is the closest I get to a love song on the album, although from my perspective these songs are all telling the story of different aspects of love. Different phases of a long relationship.
I don’t think I’ve ever hated anyone in my life. Those words in this song came from someplace where maybe, for a moment, I wished I was the sort of person who could say them. And also — as with many of my lyrics — it’s partially written from the perspective of someone else who maybe said them to me.
Show Yourself Out
James Iha is just the sweetest guy. Our kids were in school together when Covid hit, and this was a fun project during those very locked down days. He played most everything and wrote the instrumental track, and then I brought in the melody and a story (inspired by an article in the NY Times) about these frustrated parents forced to cope in close quarters. It really felt like families were destined to grow closer than ever or doomed for divorce. I know so many really struggled to redefine their partnerships in the face of devastating change.
This might be the most personal song on the record—about my struggles to write personal songs without everyone who hears them knowing things about me I don’t want them to know. I can’t even begin to understand how anyone keeps a diary!
Not Long Ago
One of my best friends died in a car crash when I was 16. All these moments were what happened just after. I’ve been writing songs since that time and always thought I’d write about it, but for whatever reason it took twenty years. I’m not at all a religious person—but I do like the sentiment of getting to see again the ones we’ve lost…
I have a habit of writing songs from the perspective of those very close to me. I guess it’s my way of trying to see their side in an argument or, in this case, a breakup. This song still makes me sad when I play it.
I Told You It’s Over
I got really obsessed with the Chvrches song “Get Out” and it influenced this song. In the past I haven’t exactly been known to speak up for myself so often. I loved the idea of getting to be really tough through a song. I explored that idea a few times on this record—and I hadn’t thought about it until now but it did help me! Pretending to be tough can make you tough, kids!
I’m a sucker for nostalgia. I can get so lost in the past. Moving far away from home and going back for the holidays is its own unique experience, and though it changes over the many years, there’s some part of you that’s still the old you every time you’re in that place.
Up to a certain point in life a relationship is a rather temporary thing. Even if you think “I want to be with this person forever,” I don’t suspect anyone in that mindset thinks about what it means for that to play out (I didn’t!). Those couples who make it to 60 years together typically look nothing like those diving head first into a romance. I’m fascinated by this. We’ll always be in and out of love. Of course it can be with different folks, and that’s ok! For me, I’m talking and thinking about the same relationship over time.
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? © Mia Kirby
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