The Songs of Summer #44: ‘Most in the Summertime’ by Rhett Miller
Another day, another Song of Summer. Some incredible thunderstorms rolled through overnight, knocking out our power but more than making up for that inconvenience by treating us to one of the most vivid displays of near-constant lightning I’ve ever seen. My wife and son stood on our deck for about half an hour just watching the light show. It’s truly amazing to see this dynamic planet in action; we all need to detach, unplug, and get outside and in touch with nature much more often. I’m speaking mostly for myself, but I think I’m also speaking for you, too.
But I digress. We’ve got Songs of Summer to talk about! Here’s another one of the newer songs on my List, from this year actually. I don’t add songs to the list very often, so when I do, it’s gotta be good. And ‘Most in the Summertime‘ is most definitely good.
‘Most in the Summertime‘ is by Rhett Miller featuring Black Prairie. Rhett Miller is better known as the lead singer of one of the coolest alt-country bands ever, Old 97’s. They’ve been around since the 90’s, and every album they’ve released is worth hearing. They put on a great live performance, too. (Never seen them live, but I’ve seen concert videos.) Rhett Miller has also released several acclaimed solo albums as well, his latest being The Traveler. Unlike the Old 97’s more raw, raucous sound, Rhett’s solo material has a more laid-back, pop-centric sound, with great melodies and often witty, often cynical lyrics. ‘Most in the Summertime’ is a love song to a longtime love, looking back at their past summers together, and begging to not give up on him, or them.
“We drove a powder blue pickup truck to the edge of town
We had a picnic on a blanket on a hill as the sun beat down
I pulled you close, and took your little hand in mine
I think I love you most in the summertime
Don’t give up on me…
I just might make it, as long as you’re still mine ”
Black Prairie, a five-piece bluegrass-influenced band from Portland, featuring members of The Decemberists, back Rhett on The Traveler. ‘Most in the Summertime’ also features Peter Buck of R.E.M. Not too shabby, Rhett Miller.
Life’s not perfect. We’re not perfect. Not even in the summertime. Rhett Miller has been open in the past about his battles with teenage depression and his thoughts of suicide during his difficult adolescent years. Even in the best of times, even in the summeriest of summers, we all need a little help, a little love, to help us make it through. This song might be lyrically a little heavier than the usual fun-time summer in the sun song, but that’s OK. It’s fun to dream and to sing about the perfect summer beach day (I do it quite often, actually as my Songs of Summer can attest) but we all have to live in the real world. This is a summer song for adults.