At first blush, Love & Summer, the third full-length album from Chicago-based singer/songwriter, Kevin Andrew Prchal, is a rollicking celebration of its two titular themes. Radiating romance and whimsy, the album revels in the never-ending present of love; its songs ecstatic and tender, playful and impassioned. Early on, Love & Summer stakes out its territory—a green and blossoming world which Prchal explores with breathless wonder and delight. Musically and lyrically, its mood is pastoral: fiddles and pedal steel mingle with the recurring voices of cicadas, and Prchal draws on a register of natural images to populate its landscape. Yet even while Love & Summer presents an homage to this idealized world, the album is also—perhaps more so—a paean to an evanescent present, where, as Prchal sings, “time will fade like sugar on your tongue.” In this sense, the insistent optimism of Love & Summer is motivated less by the dizzy raptures of love than by a hard-won awareness of the fleetingness of things and a determination to remain focused on the here-and-now of real human connection.
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