As I write this, it’s a little over a week until summer ends and autumn begins. Personally, the end of summer was never as much of a bummer for me as it was for other people. For one thing, I went to day camp, which meant that I never got the sense of aimless freedom that, say, the kids from Stand By Me had (the whole point of day camp, after all, is to make sure kids don’t do stuff like walk along train tracks and find dead bodies). For another, I was comfortable with, if not happy about, school; after a summer of panic attacks and counselors pretending to tolerate me, it was almost a welcome change of pace.
But evoking the end of summer is an easy way to generate a sort of wistful nostalgia, a quick reminder that All Good Things Must Come To An End. It takes a careful writer to avoid cliche when it comes to this sort of thing; thankfully, oddnesse is one such writer, and her “Summer’s Almost Over” is a warm, catchy addition to your playlist of late-summer vibes.
oddnesse (rhymes with “god bless”, per her Spotify page) says that she writes songs to “soothe [her] chronic overthinking”, and her wordy lyrics suggest a mind that works very quickly, no matter how chill her surroundings are. (This is, as the kids say these days, a “big mood.”) Although “Summer’s Almost Over” has a bright, balmy sound typical of post-chillwave indie pop, oddnesse doesn’t settle for vague mantras and evocations. Her lyrics are observant and specific, capturing the banality of cleaning your room, the pleasures of a melty Snickers bar, and the lazy bliss of sleeping until noon.
Although it hits familiar nostalgic notes, “Summer’s Almost Over” is not a cliche; you don’t get the feeling that oddnesse wrote the song based on half-remembered viewings of 80s coming-of-age comedies. It’s one of those songs that’s very clearly about something specific (or someone specific), and nothing so carefully and lovingly observed can ever be cliche.
Most interestingly, oddnesse doesn’t seem to view the end of summer as an inherent disappointment. “Summer’s almost over/You will find your way out,” she sings in the chorus, sounding cheerful and even a little excited about the prospect. Yes, summer can mean freedom, but it can also mean listlessness, a lack of purpose, a time of laziness that you’re too tired and bored to enjoy. But eventually, fall will come, and even if you don’t have to go back to school you can get yourself back on track.