Written by Julieta Vega
Photo by Heather Hawke
Being in the alternative music scene since 2011 has introduced me to bands and artists from all genres. Growing up, I found myself leaning towards heavier music and rarely ever listened to anything else. until I discovered The Summer Set through a YouTube playlist.
The Summer Set was a neon pop-punk group from Scottsdale, Arizona, consisting of Brian Dales, Josh Montgomery, John Gomez, Stephen Gomez, and Jess Bowen. The group released their debut album “Love Like This” in 2009 and their most recent release “Stories For Monday” in 2016, before announcing their indefinite hiatus in 2017; we took a look back at the group's unique contribution to the music scene.
The Summer Set first made waves with their debut album, “Love Like This.” The record was filled with pop-inspired tracks with cheesy lyrics about young love.
Two tracks stood out to me from “Love Like This”; “The Boys You Do (Get Back At You)” and “Chelsea.” Soon after, The Summer Set released their second album “Everything’s Fine.”
The album received support from members of two well-known rock groups, Matchbox Twenty and Whiskeytown, making the record a huge step in their career. It showed growth in the band’s sound, featuring more mature lyrics and smoother instrumentals.
The Summer Set continued to grow and cross new genre lines with their most well-known album, “Legendary”, their first release through Fearless Records, featuring catchy and high-spirited tracks and incorporating emo-pop sounds. Popular tracks like “Boomerang” and “Lighting In A Bottle”, gave the band new opportunities, such as performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Warped Tour, and touring across the United Kingdom.
Between the release of “Legendary” and their last album “Stories For Monday”, The Summer Set continued to receive commercial success and recognition. The group even performed at Bernie Sanders rally in 2016 with 3OH!3.
That same year, The Summer Set released their last full-length album, “Stories For Monday.” The album received great feedback from their fans, inspiring the "Made For You" tour, where the fanbase was able to choose which cities they would visit and which songs they would play there.
After the announcement of their hiatus, each member moved on to other projects. Lead singer Brian Dales releases solo music under the name DALES, brothers John and Stephen Gomez are members of Twin XL, who toured with The Maine last year, and drummer Jess Bowen continues to drum for artists like 3OH!3 and Tessa Violet, currently the drummer for the pop trio Nekokat.
The Summer Set left a lasting impact on the alternative music scene, reminding us that pop-punk didn't have to be all heavy and sad, and that it could make you dance too. If you haven't listened to them in a while, take this as your sign to revisit them and reminisce.
What other bands do you believe are hidden gems in the music scene? Let us know by tweeting us @lgndsoftmrw!