When you raise a child in a restrictive religious environment, it can stunt their growth and confidence in a profound way, and there’s a sense of fragility in the way Jacob Dillan Summers delivers his incredibly earnest lyrics on “All Your Words Are Gone.” As someone who was raised like that, Summers’ hesitance evokes the way I felt when attending public school for the first time as a teen, or attempted to navigate the secular world on my own late in life. Since he wasn’t allowed to listen to anything other than Christian music while growing up, it seems inevitable that Summers’ music would mirror the tranquil, unassuming grace that inhabits most contemporary worship music. (Or that he’d immediately take up screamo punk thrashing, which might be next). In the video for 1st Bath single “All Your Words Are Gone,” a similarly subdued, safe vibe comes through in the pastel colors and puffy word balloons. Summers has been through more than just a strict upbringing though; he’s an ex-Marine who served four years at the Washington D.C. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. It’s only when you take these two experiences together that the impetus for Summers’ creativity starts to come into focus. His unrelenting desire to make music on his own terms survived the often-stifling bubble of religion and the sandpapery roughness of military culture. From that perspective, Summers’ twee gentleness begins to seem like strength. Watch the video below.
1st Bath is out 4/14 on Grand Jury. Pre-order it here.