Over 280,000 views on YouTube. Over 3,000 digital singles sold. With an additional 4,000 full-length albums sold. All for a song I was ready to delete one November night in 2009.
I was in the middle of working on my debut album Erase This. I had written this fun little track about dailybooth photos, relationship statuses and two teens wanting to escape their opprosive, dull little town after losing their virginity to each other.
I ignored the song for a few days after I had finished writing it. It was kinda nerdy. Kinda fun. I don’t write nerdy. I don’t write fun. I write serious songs with concepts and story arcs and casts of characters.
After getting over myself, I emailed the lyrics to a group of about ten different musician friends. I told them I’d given up on including the song on Erase This and asked if anyone wanted to work together on releasing it as a one-off single.
Luke jumped at the chance and forwarded my email on to Kristina. ALL CAPS had already recorded a cover of my song “Can’t” for their next album, so we discussed putting this song on there too.
A few days later, Luke sent me a rough demo with him singing Kristina’s parts in a hilarious falsetto voice so we could hear the melody. He was working on that demo mix in a grocery store cafe while on tour, if I remember correctly.
The demo was a soft piano, with some cut and paste midi drum parts. There was a little synth on the chorus, but nothing like what was to come later.
The rest is, as they say, history. Kristina recorded her vocal tracks, Luke decided to beef up the synths and cranked the BPM up a few notches. “Summer of ’09″ was released as a digital single. Then the ALL CAPS album was released. Luke and Jason almost got detained by mall security while recording the music video. Shane Dawson used the song in a video. Nerimon recorded an acoustic cover of the song. And here we are.
I wish every song had this interesting of a past.