Photo credit: Nick Karp
On their latest single, The Dangerous Summer reminds us that no matter where we go or what we do, the only real escape is through a commitment to self-improvement.
At the heart of every great song The Dangerous Summer writes lies the notion that the past will always be a blanket of comfort in times when the present becomes too much to bare or the future seems too scary to endure. That isn’t the same as saying the past is golden, though sometimes that may be true, it’s more a reminder that we’ve already overcome things we once thought impossible and lived to tell the tale. They ask, what can life throw at us that we haven’t already faced? And even if life surprise us something truly unbearable, how can we give in to the fear of total collapse when we know our souls are stronger than we realize?
The band’s latest single, “Where Were You When The Sky Opened Up,” continues this lyrical relationship with the past, but the message is different. A natural progression from the material that comprised the group’s 2018 self-titled release, the song finds vocalist AJ Perdomo once again telling a story of self-realization disguised as escapism. Like many Dangerous Summer songs, the lyrics speak to a desire to flee one’s surroundings and reconnect with the world, as well as themselves, amidst an otherwise chaotic existence. The song never reveals the catalyst for those desires, and because of that, listeners are invited to project their own inner turmoil onto the narrative.
In the pre-chorus, Perdomo speaks of “feeling that old and lonely way,” which harkens back to a sense of restlessness that runs throughout the Dangerous Summer catalog. It’s not that he’s unable to feel joy or that he struggles to live in the moment, but rather that he can’t seem to shake the quiet sensation that everything is fleeting. Even the most brilliant stars in the galaxy eventually burn out, and before that happens everyone and everything you know will likely turn to dust. You can say that silver linings make living a bit more bearable, and Perdomo seems to find reminders of that in his yearning to escape into the world beyond city lights, but when all is said and done at the end of the day the thought remains that life will probably never be as good as you imagine possible.
But who is to blame? Who can we shake our fists at in response to frustrations we feel over our shortcomings and the burden of knowledge that cannot easily be forgotten? The answer, as the chorus identifies, is ourselves. We are responsible for our actions, and we control the way we let the darkness dictate our outlook on existence. Some may find it easy to ignore the creeping presence of decay, but other struggle with it daily, and when that battle becomes too much it’s not unusual for those closest to those of us lost in the fog of mental war to lash out at those around us.
Maybe the love we seek is already all around us. Maybe our desire to escape is an attempt by our heart, mind, and soul to say that life can be more than what we’ve made of it. Maybe we’re trying to outrun ourselves because the battle of staying in the present and of speaking our truth appears impossible. We know we cannot go back, but we must also recognize that we are not meant to remain where we are either. We are destined to move forward, as all things are, and we determine the difficulty of that journey through our actions and our words. “Where Were You When The Sky Opened