Traditional songs have often been revised and covered throughout music history. So was this spiritual lullaby Summertime, originally performed in the opera Porgy & Bess. The Swedish singer Sandra Andreis is now, decades later, presenting us not only a musically modernized but also lyrically adapted version to promote a more appropriate social message for the 21st century.
With soulful vocals and experimental electronic elements she creates an interesting dynamic between rich vocal texture and minimal instrumentation. Summertime is the second single released by Sandra Andreis, who is more commonly known as an actress. In the song however she does not assemble another role, but lays out her love for and worry about her daughter. The single is her personally confronting gender norms, as she adjusts the original lyrics. ‘Your daddy is rich and your mama is good looking’ she changed to ‘your daddy is rich and your mama is richer’ fighting the stereotypical image of the man as the sole family provider, while women are reduced to their physical appearance. The song’s story is also inspired by her own life as she explains:
“As a kid, I had born-again Christians on one side of my family, and conservative atheists (who still observed religious holidays) on the other. Out of this grew a need in me to question and address what we perceive as holy or natural out of sheer habit. I’m so over being a slave to heritage and living by norms that aren’t grounded in inclusivity, equality and compassion! In the music video, I feature my mother, my daughter, and myself as equal priestesses, baptizing one another and performing our own personal liberation ceremony in the forest. My husband and I co-directed the video and it includes actual footage from my own baptism. It’s truly a family affair, and a manifestation for the future that has nothing to do with rejecting the past and abandoning heritage. Instead, it comes down to that personal longing to open up, vent, redefine, and update. The freedom and courage to do exactly that is what I want to give my daughter: To make your life your own – and no one else’s.”
To ensure that her daughter will not experience the inequalities women over many years had to live with, Sandra Andreis continues the fight against the heteronormative structures side by side with many others. And she does so with this minimal, yet musically impressive electronica-tinged track.
Every Monday we’re updating the 50-track-strong Listen AHEAD Playlist on Spotify, adding ten strong songs by sill relatively unknown artists at the beginning. This week’s addition also sees new songs by Green Buzzard, Emma Elisabeth, Franc Moody, Sleep Token, Miss June as well as few more joining our weekly ride of new music. Discover their songs right here by following the playlist on Spotify.