Avid Dancer: Sharaya

Avid Dancer, a pseudonym and stage name for songwriter Jacob Dillan Summers, recently released his latest work of art, Sharaya. The album echoes with the honeyed sound of modernized pop through the decades. It is saturated with sundry feelings of love, both love lost and the rush of emotions as you fall in love.

To fully understand the denotation behind Summers' lyrics, we must understand the real meaning behind the name Sharaya. In an interview with Buzz Bands LA, Summers explains that the cover of the album is a portrait of his wife on their wedding day. Based on the Amy Grant song, Summers decided on this as the name of his at the time, upcoming album.

"I was looking at my calendar last year, all the sessions I did, everything I accomplished, and I realized this would not have happened unless I'd met this person. So there it is, let's just call the album Sharaya."

With his wife as his muse and inspiration, the album came together in no time. Summers collaborated with artists such as Davey Quon (Cold War Kids), and Jamie Sierota (ex-Echosmith) to create an intimate, open-hearted, dream-pop album.

The album opens with the song Little Bird, a three minute synth ballad that permeates a lo-fi dream. This song sets the precedent for the upcoming songs. Followed by songs like Silk, You in my Life, and Free Spirit Woman, the album accompanies a similar sound that imitates what it feels like to sit in a dimly lit room, floating in a somber pool of your own emotions.

"In a dream I was in paradise

So lost in the pale blue skies

I could have loved you, our stars don't align

Before I knew you, we'd die"

Continuing the album with one of my favorite tracks off of the release, Smile in a Frown instills a sense of dreamlike giddiness and longing for something new. It presents insight into the more acoustic sounding side of the album, while still being able to imprint the same sentiment that the rest of the album offers to the listener.

"Sunrise in Joshua Tree, she's waving at me."

The ongoing ambiance continues with tracks such as Echoes, Favorite Dreams, and Hearts are for, all melodies relaying a similar longing for love.

"All my favorite dreams are of you

Trying to find a way

to make them all come true."

The record comes to a close with a tune that makes your brain feel as if it were on a trip. Gazing at the Edge of Everything is a fitting name, seeing as how as the last track should instill a sense of closure to the album. Summers had left this track off of the first album, making it a little different from the rest of the songs on Sharaya. Although it wasn't written at the same time as the rest of the tracks, it is the perfect ending to a lovely album and creates a perfect tie back into Little Bird.

I truly enjoyed taking the time to dive deeper into the inner workings of Summers' mind. With a sweet sounding voice and sultry instrumentals, his music will leave you with nostalgia you didn't know you had.

Listen to the album here