Summer Rain’s “Hold Her Hand” has all the standard features you’d expect in a rock song – the big guitars, the sly beat, a charisma-drenched bassline, and a vocalist whose eroticized command of the lyrics is rivaled only by the chemistry they share with the other players in the band. What sets this piece apart from the majority of indie rock I’ve been spinning this September is the passion it forces to the forefront of its mix, driven mostly by the warmth generated between the strings and the lead singer. They’re flirting with iconic songcraft here, but dexterously nudging the aesthetic closer to the future than the past.
The guitar is the most prominent instrument in “Hold Her Hand,” but it’s not drowning out any of the magic this vocalist is injecting every verse with. He’s got a strut beside the drums that awakens an otherwise stock beat’s vitality-rich side, and before we know it, the midway point in the song feels like the right moment to connect our bodies with the rhythm of the music. It’s a collective effort here, with the fireworks not centering on one player over another, and yet the direction feels so much more trustworthy than it would in a more experimental setting.
This backend isn’t shortchanging us in favor of giving up all the more sizzle from the singer and guitarist; contrarily, there’s a nice little oomph to the bassline and the percussion that asks for us to join in with the sliding groove and let the rhythm of the band’s play fill our bodies with the same smooth vibe these musicians are so clearly enjoying. You don’t have to see the video to appreciate their energy, but the visuals it presents verify everything the single would suggest about them on its own.
I can’t wait to hear more from Summer Rain in the future, and whether this track gets them into the college radio sphere outside of their scene or not, it’s obvious that they’re working with a more intellectually stimulating brand of pop-rock compositional depth than the average indie group is in 2021. There’s just more heart in this performance than I’ve gotten from the masses of rock revivalists coming off of both coastlines this past year, and whether you’re a big fan of the retro look or not, Summer Rain refreshes it in such a manner that their artistry is hard to resist no matter what.
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