Some songs are synonymous with a particular season. Don Henley‘s “The Boys of Summer” was a Top Ten when it was released in 1984, and when it was re-released in 1998 it still hit #12. That’s a song with some longevity. Unlike so many summer songs, Henley’s ode to summer is a real downer, a remembrance of summers past rather than a celebration. Many covers of the song maintain that sense of melancholy, including a version by the Ataris that became a hit in its own right. Earlier this summer, Au Revoir Simone bucked the trend with their dream-pop version, but ultimately it fell a bit short. Papercuts, another band that can be lumped into the dream-pop genre, recently tried their hand at the summer classic.
With a jittery drum beat and jangly guitars, singer, and only permanent member, Jason Quever coos the song’s verses before erupting for the chorus. The nostalgia and the longing still remain, but the music has given the song a bit of an edge, making it almost uncomfortable. Papercuts have turned the song from a wistful look back into the story of someone truly stuck in the past. Papercuts’ version may fit in with summer songs even less than the original, but overall they have successfully captured the melancholy Henley was writing about.
Papercuts – The Boys of Summer (Don Henley cover)