Music

Rosie Carney and Henry Jamison - "Hot Scary Summer" (video) (premiere)

Photo: Deborah Sheedy

Up-and-coming indie folk artists introduce captivating new layers of sound to "Hot Scary Summer" in their rendition of this cult favorite tune from Villagers.

When Villagers first released "Hot Scary Summer", it felt like a revelation. Not only did the indie folk outlet develop a truly captivating melancholy atmosphere with their music, nor did they just appeal to the heartstrings by singing about the negative feelings associated with aching loneliness. Rather, songwriter Conor O'Brien went beyond to highlight personal struggles of being called out in public and having threats thrown out by very homophobic individuals.


With a song so poignant and rich with meaning, others would frankly be remiss not to honor it with their own takes on the now iconic tune. Such is the case of up-and-coming folkster Rosie Carney, also from Ireland, and Vermont's Henry Jamison. The two roots artists joined together recently to develop their version of the song.

While they've kept their pacing around the same as the Villagers original, Jamison introduces some pensive electric guitar to proceedings that adds an extra layer of cafard reflection to their interpretation's sound. Vocally, the duo could not be better matched between Carney's evocative coo and Jamison's lilting harmonies. They bring their emotional appeal to proceedings while respecting the source material from which this song's story is steeped. The video, shot by Irish director Christian Tierney, brilliantly captures the heart-rending spirit of this duet.

Carney says, "During our UK and Irish tour a few months ago, Henry and I really wanted to sing a song together. While in Dublin for a couple of days we both felt it right to learn one by an Irish musician and we decided to go with 'Hot Scary Summer' by Villagers. Luckily, one afternoon the extremely talented Christian Tierney came over to our Airbnb (on his birthday) and filmed us playing it on the roof."

"We are both big fans of this song and even bigger fans of Conor O'Brien. 'Hot Scary Summer' especially resonates with me as it reminds me of Home every time I listen to it, though not necessarily because of the lyrical content. The whole song has such a beautiful, melancholic feel to it and it breaks my heart in many ways. I feel Conor achieves this in every song he writes and has been quite an influence, in ways, on my own music. I feel at home when I listen to Villagers. I aspire to resonate with my listeners the same way."

Photo: Shervin Lainez

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