Fairly new country singer-songwriter Jackson Michelson energetically delivers his second EP Back To That Summer with heart and passion. Michelson, formerly known for his self-titled 2016 EP returns in 2021 with a five-track EP that includes his Top 30 single “Tip Jar”. “I wanted to peel back the layers of who I am and where I’m from with this EP,” shares the Corvallis, Oregon native. “The EP is filled with upbeat songs that paint the picture of summer love and sunshine mixed with a bit of Pacific Northwest edge.”
The lively EP opens with his most popular single, “Tip Jar” which is currently climbing charts, as of now claiming a Top 30 spot. The beat alone deems it a catchy track, but the lyrics solidify that. Michelson exclaims the lyric, “One more song for a broken heart” near the end of the song, not only following the storyline of the song itself– but setting the stage for his song to be a “song for a broken heart.”
Michelson’s title track, “Back To That Summer” brings in that picture of love and sunshine that he described himself when considering the feel of his EP. With remnants of Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton, Michelson touches on the true nostalgia of young love in the summer. “Do you ever go back to that summer / Back to young lovers / Falling in that back seat / Do you ever go back to that August / Sun setting on us / Swore we would never leave”. In the chorus, Michelson reminisces on feelings of a summer love that every country music fan has felt.
Both previously released, comparable tracks three and four, “Amplifier” and “Love High” bring in that electrically intoxicating feel that Michelson demanded in this EP. “Amplifier” creates the atmosphere of being on Broadway at midnight with powerful note changes and a melodic chorus that will win anyone over with a hint of southern charm. His song uses multiple country music references to describe a girl of his interest, all tying back to the title itself, “Amplifier”. “She’s an eleven on my amplifier / Ain’t just a singer / She’s my whole church choir / I swear I’m smoking / Cause that girl’s on fire” is the addicting metaphorical chorus that hypnotizes listeners.
“Love High” slows these familiar ideas down, creating a more romantic sense of “Amplifier” with lyrics “Girl, you’ve got me love high / And I don’t ever want to come down / Caught up in your blue eyes / And I can’t even see the ground / Don’t need no shot of something, there ain’t nothing / Stronger than your kiss / I’m long gone and drunk on your lips”.
One of the only two previously unreleased songs on the EP, “Call Me No One” keeps the pattern of a slow remedy with a melancholic turn. In the second to last track, Michelson pleads to be a girl’s “No One” after seeing her alone at the bar. Ending the first verse, “Didn’t think you’d be here alone / Based on that look at your phone / Ask if you’re waiting for someone / You say no one” introduces the idea that carries throughout the entire song. The bittersweet track is captivating.
Michelson ends the EP with a formerly praised song known as “Stay Over”. In this song, the passion is immeasurable as he describes a back-and-forth relationship with his partner. He explains the relationship as “predictable” and “typical” yet “tempting” and “irresistible” through the lyrics. “Oh I know what’s coming next / You’re gonna call me up / Just a little drunk / While you’re out with your friends” is an offer that Michelson doesn’t decline. This leads him to his reciting of events throughout the chorus, settling on the aftermath “I’ll watch you leave again / Still say we’re only friends / And we’re not getting back together”.
Michelson’s emotional and electrifying EP is addictive from beginning to end, one that with its many different elements can be relatable to almost any listener. This fact, along with his intoxicating melodies and clever lyricism, is enough to convince anyone to listen, drawing Back To That Summer to the top of the charts.
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