Summer Colds

Summer Colds

Ashland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2018

Ashland, Oregon, United States
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Alternative Rock





Summer Colds is the newest project helmed by Ashland based singer/songwriter Nic McNamara. After spending the better part of 2018 making a name for themselves through playing shows around Southern Oregon, they have finally delivered their debut album, Here Comes Nothing.

The record starts out with “Low,” a slacker-anthem about depression and partying. McNamara sings: “I’m drinking desert rose, ’til the bars all but close, and I’m running out to throw up in the snow again.” Emotionally revealing lyrics are juxtaposed against McNamara’s relaxed, metered vocals to great effect. The record continues with the short-but-sweet “Found” detailing a complicated relationship between two people.

The third track on Here Comes Nothing titled “Whiteout” makes great use of McNamara’s lyrical abilities, but perhaps in an unconventional way. McNamara has a way of stringing together phrases in a way that perhaps obscures their literal meaning, but elevates the actual sound of them. Take for example some of the first lyrics in “Whiteout”: “when that growin’ is, knowin’ is, goin’ without again, I would rather go out in a blow out of my doubt again”. When sung, there is an undeniable catchiness to these words that helps to cement McNamara’s place as one of the best pop songwriters in southern Oregon.

Another standout track on Here Comes Nothing is “Killing Flies.” McNamara sings: “I used to say hello to you, now I just walk on by, you used to say hello to me too, now I just wanna die.” Lyrics like this speak to the moments in life few people talk about but everyone experiences. The album continues on into “Sober October”, a track that continues some of the lyrical themes put forth at the beginning of the record. Here Comes Nothing feels like it exists in two pieces. The first, a recounting of party experiences with friends; the second, the fallout of those experiences.

With an album under their belts and an ever-increasing local fanbase, Summer Colds seem poised for a real break-out year. They have the songs, as well as the charm. - Rogue Valley Messenger

"Oregon based Summer Colds to release album May 31st"

Oregon based Summer Colds to release album May 31st

When it comes to catchy power driven hooks that are impossible to get out of your head, indie rock band Summer Colds reign supreme!

The Oregon based band will be dropping their full-length album, Here Comes Nothing, on all streaming platforms on May 31st. Summer Colds recently released their first single “Whiteout” just a few weeks ago with the release of their second single, “Killing Flies”, due out May 17th. CDs will be available for purchase through their official website. The record is also being pressed on vinyl and LPs will be available in August.

After years of musical experimentation and gaining local notoriety with the release of two albums from his former band Black Bears Fire in 2013 & 2015, Nic McNamara began recording with Summer Colds to bring to life a heavier sound than his previous folk-rock project. The album combines Nic’s dark, poetic song writing with the fuzzy pop sensibilities of golden era 90s Alternative rock.

Power chord driven hooks and melodic layered guitars provide the backbone for the dense imagery of Nic’s melancholic lyrics. Summer Colds plan to tour extensively in support of the new release. - Rock At Night

"Indie Releases May"

Seeking to change musical direction from folk rock to indie rock and power pop, Ashland, Oregon guitarist and vocalist Nic McNamara formed a new band, Summer Colds, in 2018.

Since then, the three-piece band has worked on songs, rehearsing and recording. The result of the trio’s labors will be available on May 31st via the band’s debut LP, Here Comes Nothing.

The band’s intrepid debut single, “Whiteout,” is an upbeat, hook-driven chugger that blazes right out of the gates with driving layers of guitars, chugging bass line and nicely timed drumming.

After leaving his former folk rock band, Black Bears Fire, McNamara set out “to bring to life a heavier sound” and recruited two musicians to fulfill that vision; drummer and vocalist Claire Burgess and bassist Nicole Swan.

Summer Colds has opened for other bands like Slow Corpse, Old Year, Calyx, The Juniper Berries, Yr Parents, and Glacierwolf. Their musical influences include Weezer, White Reaper, Surfer Blood, Pup, Brand New, and Wavves. - Indie Rock Cafe

"New Music Monday - Interview"

“Whiteout” the debut single from the upcoming album “Here Comes Nothing” by Summer Colds. This song was originally written when I was playing in my old band Black Bears Fire but never ended up on a record because it didn’t fit the style of music I was playing at the time. When I formed Summer Colds this was one of the first songs that inspired the new sound. I was listening to a lot of 90’s rock from bands like Weezer and Jimmy Eat World, a lot of Pop Punk from that time and getting really into the new wave of music that was bringing back the nostalgia for the era with a new twist on the sound like White Reaper, Surfer Blood, Waves ect. I self recorded the song and crammed as many guitar layers into the track as I could muster. I also played bass, drums and vocals along with the backup harmonies.

This is the first single from our upcoming debut album “Here Comes Nothing”. I felt like this song encapsulated the overall vibe of the record.

Our first single “Whiteout” was released on 4/19. The second single “Killing Flies” is set to release on 5/17. We are getting ready to release our debut album. “Here Comes Nothing” will be available on streaming platforms and CD on 5/31. 'We are planning on shooting our first music video this summer while we wait for the vinyl pressing. Our release party will be at Brickroom in Ashland, OR sometime in July or August. - Ava Live Radio

"Indie Song of the Day"

The Indie Song of the Day comes from act Summer Colds. Summer Colds is the project led by musician Nic McNamara, who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa while his father Steven was working as a recording engineer for a lot of famous South African musicians.

Nic and his family moved to the U.S. in the early 90's and since then he's studied music and recording engineering. NcNamara was based in Oregon and grew a following with his previous band Black Bears Fire. The band released two albums and did some regional touring.

Summer Colds was founded by Nic looking to do something a little different than Black Bears Fire and the other music he had played in the past. Described as an indie rock/power pop project, Summer Colds released their debut single, "Whiteout" last month and they'll release their debut album this month.

Listen to "Whiteout" below and be sure to be looking out for that new album very soon. - Alternative Addiction

"Songs With A Hook"

It’s a fairly predictable hipster transition to see former punkers mellowing into the roots music scene in old age. But Nic McNamara has gone the other way. After two respectable neo-folkie albums with his band Black Bears Fire he’s back with a more muscular, punky rock and roll sound with new band Summer Colds on their debut album, Here Comes Nothing. The result is a fascinating synthesis of country harmonies with a poppy American punk sound. This is particularly apparent on opening tracks “Low” and “Found,” both featuring vocals that remind of such alt-folk luminaries as You Won’t and Good Old War. When we get to the single “Whiteout” the comparisons to Weezer start to make sense with its grind of buzzing guitars and smooth hooky vocals. Special mention: check out the great western country harmony lurking under the rock veneer on “Killing Flies.” - Poprock Record

"Indie-Rock Summer Colds - 'White Out'"

Nic’s current project is called Summer Colds. Previously in Black Bears Fire with two albums to his credit, Nic put together this three piece indie power-rock pop band to continue his path of musical experimentation and exploration – the result is a heavier, edgier sound with strong melodic sensibilities and lyrical substance. Off the album ‘Here Comes Nothing’, the single “White Out’ is a great way to check out Nic’s new sound and get hooked.

Raw, hand-muted fuzzy power chords, bass and drums form the edgy foundation of “White Out’. The basic rock trio sets the stage for Nic who enters singing, “Everyone’s got something growing in them. They’d rather not know about when…” Right away, there’s an introspective, poetic openness and honesty. Nic’s voice is natural and laid-back yielding a chill vibe. The chorus comes in like a wave, crashing like the “white out” Nic sings about, with strong melodic content and a a hook that gets under your skin. “I’ll shout it out, something’s dying in me. I’m trying to see with the lights out. I’ll sweat it out, one of these nights you’ll see I’m right where you left me in the whiteout.”

"White Out' explores the surreal line between addictions and relationships, self-actualization and self-destruction. Please take a moment to experience "White Out" and check out the lyric video:

Building energy, the vocals layer up in octaves falling into occasional harmony adding to the ambiance behind the track. Each chorus starts softer, then gradually builds up making for a high-octane experience from start to finish. Taking a break from the addictive vocal melodies, rocking guitar motifs guide us between sections, echoing in different octaves making a melodic start to a killer instrumental section to wrap up the tune.

Summer Colds is keeps it raw, musically and emotionally, but that raw sound is artistically achieved through very thoughtful songwriting and arranging. “White Out” is a uniquely addictive tune with a nice balance between gripping instrumentals and catchy vocals, poetic lyrics and raw emotions. - Please Pass The Indie

"Killing Flies"

Off the album ‘Here Comes Nothing’, the single “Killing Flies’ is a great way to get acquainted with Summer Colds, an alternative-rock band based out out of Southern Oregon.
"Killing Flies" is out the gate with muted guitar power-chords. The sound is heavy, rhythmic and crunchy. Nic enters singing, "I used to say hello to you. Now I just walk on by. You used to say hello to me too. Now I just want to die when I see your face. " After Nic calls-out, "2,3,4" the arrangement kicks into full gear with the addition of drums and bass.
There's a punk-rock edge that supplies a great contrast to Nic's naturally laid-back vocals that are clearly heard above the mix. It's a fantastic sound. As the song progresses, the guitar introduces new timbres along with tasty riffs and a higher register, melodic solo that cuts through the thick wall of sound.
The lyrics to "Killing Flies" utilize a unique directness combined with raw, dark poetry. "When I go outside, I just want to hide from the sun. When I stay inside, I don't have any fun. When I stay up late, I can barely breath. Now when I get back home, I just really want to leave." The song's title is also quite revealing. "Killing Flies" is about the emotional exhaustion one experiences when they are in a toxic relationship. Themes included mixed messages, head-games, depression and the blame-game.
Summer Colds display brazen honesty tinged with an intense energy in the edgy, yet highly melodic song "Killing Flies", that offers melodies you can hold onto through the alternative, darkly poetic and melodic ride. - Indie Spoonful

"Here Comes Nothing"

A lump of cold dark clay molded by ’90s music, it always tickles me how many new artists now appreciate that little blip in music history. Enter Summer Colds and their latest album Here Comes Nothing. Head to toe this album is a love letter to the alt- rock experience of a time when I still watched The Simpsons. Everything from production to the vocal styling is formulated as a call back. It's a solid amount of fun and nostalgia.

Nic McNamara is the front man as well as the songwriter and the hands behind the production. He's got a plucky disposition when it comes to his vocal style. He's got a campy tone combined with blunt lyrics. The lyrics are key to what had me sold on this album. There is a good mixture of chucking the words out and letting them make a thump and then true poetic, metaphorical approach. He maintains a very clean and catchy structural pace for his songs, and it keeps things moving at an enjoyable pace. I think there are times he sticks too true to format and certain songs get lost as they cohere to one another. There is a lot of vocal harmony as well and while sometimes was a miss for me, there were lots of times where it was lovely and brought back fond memories.

The music rests hugely on guitar power chords. Lots of fuzzy wuzzy guitar layers at play. The guitar is what really seals the deal in terms of that ’90s feel. It's a sound I love but I really enjoyed it when they would step outside this winning formula and separate out the guitar veins a bit. These moments were rare and I wish there were a few more of them if only to remind the listener that this is a modern take on a genre.

As I said, McNamara was the producer on this album as well and I get the sense he executed his vision for this album perfectly. He wanted to capture that ’90s fuzz and he achieved that. This is definitely a time traveling device. At times I think he was so good at achieving this aesthetic that it was almost too spot on and did date the music. There is obvious talent in this group and I would like to hear them in a more intimate sound at some point. The fuzz is good, but it does keep everything at a distance. However what he managed to accomplish on his own is an impressive feat.

​Overall Here Comes Nothing is a fun and endearing alt-rock album that pays solid homage to my favorite decade. McNamara is clearly one of those polymath musicians that acts as a one man army for his projects and the result is a very clear and decisive result. I am curious to see what he and this group are capable outside of this particular motif. However, if ’90s alt rock is their bag, they have mastered it and ’90s fans should flock to them. - Divide and Conquer

"Here Comes Nothing"

Low is the first effort on Summer Colds’ Here Comes Nothing, which unites the vocal styles of They Might Be Giants with the heavy fuzz of mid-1990s alternative. The bouncy beat that the band crafts during this intial salvo will draw in listeners, a trend that continues with Found. The refreshing take on pop-alt music like Weezer will appease fans of the style as well as those that are coming into the style. The more laid-back sound of Found is built through a chugging guitar line and splashy drums. The dynamism of Summer Colds means that fans are ferried quite far from the position that they exist at the beginning of the single.

Copenhagen is one of our favorite cuts from Here Comes Nothing. While the song starts out with a medium tempo, the band is able to ramp things up as they move into the chorus. By touching upon the Descendents and early Unwritten Law, Summer Colds are able to infuse the second half of the album with a bit of punk urgency. Killing Flies moves even further into this pop-punk mold with a stripped-back set of arrangements (guitars and drums working toward a specific sound) and a vocal sound that would make Joey Ramone happy.

Dee End whips in a bit of surf to the focused guitar riffs and punchy drums, keeping things interesting as fans move onto the final one-two punch that is Sober October and Centipedes. The hammering home of the guitars towards the final half-minute or so of Sober October is reminiscent of the late-nineties / early oughts sound of The Smoking Popes and The Red Hot Valentines, while Centipedes has an air of finality to it that ends Here Comes Nothing perfectly.

Top Tracks: Killing Flies, Sober October

Rating: 8.0/10 - NeuFutur

"Album Review: Summer Colds’ ‘Here Comes Nothing’"

It has been a big year for Ashland, Oregon indie rock/power pop trio Summer Colds. The increasingly popular band dropped their debut single, “Whiteout,” last spring followed now by their anticipated debut album, Here Comes Nothing.

For an album with a title that is more than modest, this baby delivers some things – that are 90s-retro in many ways.

It’s hard to review this album without throwing out various subgenres of indie and alternative rock. The ‘throw-back’ DIY-sound of Here Comes Nothing is consistent across most of the tracks, including the melodic fuzzy rock vibe of “Low,” pegged by a neat little hook that’s hard to shake.

The vocals, led by guitarist and vocalist Nic McNamara, will remind some right away of the indie band They Might Be Giants. That’s not an original observation; many who have heard his voice, especially in the context of retro alt-pop, have said the same.

The second track of the eight-track album is the forward-driving song, “Found,” with its adherence to 1990s alt/indie pop-rock ethos.

As it turns out, “Found” is more than just another track on the album. According to McNamara, it is also the sole track on the album that set the tone for Summer Cold’s musical style.

“Found” projects a refreshed take on the 90s southern California alt-pop sound of bands like Weezer. It sports that laid-back slacker dynamic reinforced by Nicole Swan‘s booming basslines, McNamara’s chugging guitar and Claire Burgess‘s bouncy, energetic drumming. McNamara also plays bass and drums.

Actually, McNamara says, the song was originally written a decade ago when he was first starting to record songs acoustically for his former band Black Bears Fire.

As he puts it, the song arrives with even more history than just its decade of ferment. “Changing the song from acoustic to electric was the catalyst for taking a new direction musically and for starting a new band,” McNamara concludes.

The second official single from the album, “Killing Flies,” was written and recorded in its entirety a few months prior to the album’s release.

“I wrote ‘Killing Flies’ in a flash of inspiration,” McNamara says, adding: “triggered by running into an ex-girlfriend who had taken a self-destructive path.”

“The song came together quicker than usual and ended up setting the standard for what the mixing and production of the rest of the tracks on the album would sound like,” he says reflectively.

“Killing Flies” moves even further into this pop-punk mold with a stripped-back set of arrangements and snarky vocals in the style McNamara feels natural with.

Other standout tracks on the album include “Copenhagen,” starting out with a mid-tempo and melodic guitar with the band coming all together in full force at the chorus.

Interestingly, the album’s second half – and its best half – rocks with a punk-inspired verge and urgency. It’s quite a ride for fans punk-pop in the vein of bands like the Descendents.

“Deep End” has a surfy punk-pop vibe, setting up the final two fantastic tracks, starting with the hard-hitting, guitar-frenzied and unforgettable, “Sober October,” followed by the lighter, and welcoming, final touch of “Centipedes,” saving one of the best tracks for last.

The half-hour album weaves McNamara’s dreary and poetic songwriting style with fuzzy pop-rock sensibilities of the 90’s alternative rock era driven by power chords and hooks immersed in the dense imagery of the album’s melancholic lyrics.

Summer Colds does not rely on one genre/sub-genre although if forced, they’d have to put themselves into the power-pop end of the indie rock musical spectrum. They obviously enjoy, and with good results, mixing alt. and indie rock elements with power pop and punk-pop.

After releasing two albums with his former indie band Black Bears Fire, McNamara began a new project, recruited a couple of band members and began writing and recording as Summer Colds to “bring to life a heavier sound than my previous folk-rock project.”

He has opened for a bunch of bands over the past five years, including Slow Corpse, Old Year, Calyx, The Juniper Berries, Yr Parents, and Glacierwolf. Summer Colds’ biggest influences include Weezer, White Reaper, Surfer Blood, Pup, Brand New, and Wavves.

McNamara was born in Johannesburg South Africa where his father, Stevin McNamara, was a recording engineer for Lucky Dube, Brenda Fassi, and Ladysmith Blacksmith Mambazo, and later, Bryan Adams, Tina Turner, Def Leppard, and Michael Bolton. When the Summer Colds frontman was a child, his family moved to the U.K. town of Surrey, England.

In the early 1990s, his family moved to the United States where he continued to study music and recording engineering. - Indie Rock Cafe

"Summer Colds – “Killing Flies”"

The rising Ashland, Oregon indie rock trio Summer Colds return again with another track, “Killing Flies”, from their debut album.

The track opening with a snarly-style vocal delivery, a tepid background beat and a wall of guitars. Once the song opens up a bit more and really gets rolling, it’s a solid track.

However, the vocals could be better; they are understated like “dude, why you holding back?”

The growing pains of a new and young band. The guitar solo at the ending of the track is cool and how it merges with the other instruments.

Earlier this year, we featured the band’s debut single, “Whiteout,” which helped fuel the band’s visibility locally and online.

Soon we’ll be posting our review of the band’s debut album, Here Comes Nothing. Straddling between, and mixing, genres such as alt. rock, pop-punk, and power pop.

After recording two albums with his former band Black Bears Fire in 2013 & 2015, songwriter, songwriter, and vocalist Nic McNamara founded Summer Colds “to bring to life a heavier sound” than his previous folk-rock project.

“Killing Flies”
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1. “Killing Flies” — SUMMER COLDS
He recruited drummer and vocalist Claire Burgess and bassist Nicole Swan to complete the band.

“Unlike many other songs on the album,” says McNamara, “this was written in its entirety a few months before the album was released.”

“It came in a flash of inspiration, triggered by running into an ex-girlfriend who had taken a self-destructive path.”

The song came together quicker than usual and ended up setting the standard for what the mixing and production of the rest of the tracks on the album would sound like.

Summer Colds has opened for a bunch of bands over the past five years, including Slow Corpse, Old Year, Calyx, The Juniper Berries, Yr Parents, and Glacierwolf.

The band’s biggest influences include Weezer, White Reaper, Surfer Blood, Pup, Brand New, and Wavves. - Indie Rock Cafe


Missing Out, the new release from Southern Oregon band, Summer Colds, continues boldly along the path that frontman Nic McNamara began on its 2019 release, Here Comes Nothing, offering eight tracks of pristinely produced and cleverly written ‘90s-style power pop.

While Here Comes Nothing focused on the foibles of binge drinking and self-destructive impulses, Missing Out sees McNamara turning his wry lyrical lens towards growth and self-improvement; leaving bad relationships and looking forward. “My friends told me to live a life worth writing about so I’m living without you,” he sings on “Say It Back.” “You were the first to break out of it, worst mistake,” he sings on “Dear Life.” On “If You Know” he sings of “a cage that we tried to make to keep me safe from friends that I made to lead me astray.”

The melodies are attentively crafted, without so much as an excess syllable, or a single shoehorned in lyrical phrase. The fuzzy chords, major key harmonies, and clever turns of phrase all come together to form songs that could pass for lost Fountains of Wayne or Supergrass tracks if one squinted just enough. The Adam Schlesinger comparisons are especially present in the way the verses of songs like “All Time High” and “Say it Back” are as melodically catchy as the hooks.

McNamara isn’t forging new ground sonically on this record; personally or in a larger sense. But he isn’t letting so much as a single weed grow on the perfectly manicured lawn he planted on the band’s first record either. From both a musical and literary standpoint, Missing Out is engaging from start to finish and should be filed under Southern Oregon’s growing collection of hidden gems. - Josh Gross at Jefferson Public Radio

"Summer Colds: A Journey from Johannesburg to the Indie Rock World"

From the bustling city of Johannesburg to the serene landscapes of Surrey, and finally making a mark in Southern Oregon, the musical journey of Nic McNamara, the man behind the band ‘Summer Colds’, is nothing short of inspiring. Born to Stevin McNamara, a renowned recording engineer who collaborated with iconic musicians such as Lucky Dube and Brenda Fassi, Nic’s early life was a melange of musical notes and recording studios.

The vibrant tapestry of his life is reflected in his music. As a young boy in Surrey, he witnessed his father work alongside Robert Mutt Lange, producing albums for stellar artists like Bryan Adams and Tina Turner. This exposure to diverse musical genres from an early age shaped Nic’s eclectic taste.

The United States in the ’90s saw a young Nic immersing himself in music studies and recording engineering. His first musical venture, ‘Black Bears Fire’, was rooted in Folk Rock and garnered attention in Southern Oregon. However, the artist’s constant thirst for experimentation led him to adopt the moniker ‘Summer Colds’ – a shift towards a heavier, Indie Rock/Power Pop sound.

Summer Colds’ debut album, “Here Comes Nothing,” released in 2019, is a beautiful juxtaposition of dark, poetic lyrics and the fuzzy pop essence reminiscent of the golden era of the ’90s Alternative Rock. With tracks like “Whiteout” and “Killing Flies”, the album is an auditory treat. Power chords, melodic guitars, and Nic’s evocative lyrics paint a vivid soundscape that can best be described as “Weezer for emo kids.”

The band’s latest single, “Copenhagen,” delves into the complexities of a clandestine love affair. Accompanying this emotionally charged track is a 3D lyric video, meticulously crafted using the Unreal Engine, showcasing the band’s commitment to merging music with cutting-edge technology.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Nic’s unwavering passion for music didn’t wane. He utilized this time to work on ‘Summer Colds’ sophomore album, “Missing Out.” Teasing a harder, denser, and more textured sound, fans eagerly await its release.

From the recording studios of Johannesburg to the global Indie Rock stage, ‘Summer Colds’ is a testament to Nic McNamara’s enduring love for music, and his journey is a melody that continues to resonate with many. - Stereo Bangers

"Interview with Idols 2 Rivals"

In this exclusive interview with Idols 2 Rivals, transcribed below, Summer Colds discusses his musical upbringing in Surrey and early exposure to legends like Robert Mutt Lange, sharing insights into his transformative journey. Reflecting on the shift from Black Bears Fire to Summer Colds, he discusses the inspiration behind the Indie Rock/Power Pop evolution. From the debut album “Here Comes Nothing” to standout tracks like “Whiteout” and “Killing Flies,” Summer Colds delves into personal experiences that fuel his poetic lyrics and ’90s Alternative Rock sound. Discussing his latest single, “Copenhagen,” and its innovative 3D lyric video, the artist reflects on the role of technology in music presentation. As he anticipates the sophomore album, “Missing Out,” Summer Colds promises a polished sound and textured compositions, embodying the evolving indie rock scene.

Idols 2 Rivals (I2R): Growing up with a father who was a renowned recording engineer, how do you think this unique environment influenced your musical style and aspirations?

Summer Colds (SC): I have definitely found myself in a privileged position in this regard. From an early age, I got the chance to accompany my father to the various recording studios he worked in over the years. I took an early interest in learning about recording, engineering, and producing music and had access to all the equipment my heart desired to experiment with. As an adult, I spent years building a home studio and learning mixing and mastering from him. I feel very lucky to have had such an incredible resource all this time. His years of experience and wisdom have been invaluable to me.

I2R: Can you share a memorable experience from your time in Surrey, watching your father work with music legends like Robert Mutt Lange?

SC: Truth be told, I think the gravity of the situation was somewhat lost on me as a young child. At the time it just seemed like dad going to work as usual. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized how unique the experiences like having dinners with Mutt, meeting the artists they were working with, and watching my dad in the studio really were. I remember it all sinking in when my dad bought me AC/DC and Def Leppard CDs, and explaining to me all the projects Mutt had worked on. I was definitely exposed to a high caliber of music at an early age, and I’m sure that greatly impacted my musical taste growing up. The first concert I ever went to was a Def Leppard show at Red Rocks in Colorado after we moved there. I got to go backstage and get an autograph from Rick Allen! Every show I went to after that felt a bit anticlimactic.

I2R: How did your exposure to a variety of musical genres during your childhood in Surrey shape your approach to creating music?

SC: My first memory of being influenced by music was listening to Heartbeat City by The Cars (produced by Mutt Lange). Something about the sound of it immediately resonated with me. Since this was way before playlists or even CDs, I asked my dad to make me a mixed tape of my 3 favorite songs repeated over and over so I could listen without interruption. In my teenage years, I became obsessed with Weezer and later found out that my favorite albums of theirs were produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars. I can’t help but think there was a subconscious connection there that contributed to the way my influences progressed over time.

I2R: Reflecting on your musical journey, how did your early days in Johannesburg contribute to your development as an artist?

SC: Before I can remember, I was surrounded by African music. My mother always tells me stories about how enthralled I was with the drumming and dancing. Apparently, I would try to sing before I could even talk. I think being surrounded by that culture at such an early age really started the process of my interest in music and my sense of rhythm.

I2R: Transitioning from ‘Black Bears Fire’ to ‘Summer Colds’, what inspired the shift towards a heavier Indie Rock/Power Pop sound?

SC: I had released 2 albums as Black Bears Fire and was in the process of completing the 3rd. The guitar players who had contributed lead tracks and guitar solos on the previous BBF albums weren’t available for tracking at the time, so I began playing lead guitar to the best of my ability. The album was 90% done when I got stuck on a track that I couldn’t quite get right, and out of frustration, I decided to change gears and work on a new sound to clear my head. The original intention was to return to that album and finish it. Instead, I went down a rabbit hole and ended up reworking several of the songs to fit into this new style I was experimenting with. The result was Summer Colds and I’ve been recording under this new moniker ever since.

I2R: Your debut album “Here Comes Nothing” has a unique blend of dark, poetic lyrics and ’90s Alternative Rock. Can you talk about the creative process behind this album?

SC: A few songs on Here Comes Nothing were new versions of the Black Bears Fire tracks that I had reworked. The rest were a combination of songs I had written many years back that had never fit into that Folk Rock style and some new tracks that I wrote along the way. I definitely drew inspiration from the Alt Rock and Pop Punk albums I grew up on as a teen, but even though the musical style I was working in changed, the way I wrote lyrics remained the same. My songs usually start out as poems that I later flesh out with rhythm and melody.

I2R: In your song “Whiteout,” what inspired the lyrics and how did you go about composing the music for it?

SC: The lyrics were actually written way back in the early 2000s. Mostly about the frustrations of spending some of my formative years in a small town and watching my friends succumb to addiction and destructive behavior. The song was originally written as an acoustic track but rhythmically fit into the style I was developing for Summer Colds, so it worked well as a framework for the new Power Pop sound.

I2R: “Killing Flies” has been a standout track; could you describe the story or emotion you wanted to capture with this song?

SC: This was one of the newer tracks that I had written while recording Here Comes Nothing. It was inspired by running into an ex-girlfriend who had taken a self-destructive path. I think a lot of people can relate to the feeling of trying to form a new dynamic with someone they’ve grown apart from. Perhaps someone they used to be close with, who they can no longer connect to on the same level.

I2R: Your latest single “Copenhagen” explores the theme of a clandestine love affair. Can you discuss the creative journey of writing and producing this song?

SC: This song was also written a long time ago as an acoustic track that originally had a sadder, more mellow feel to it. I wrote it for my partner about the difficulties we faced when our relationship was first forming and we were forced to keep it a secret. I was inspired when recording Here Comes Nothing to resurrect Copenhagen into the new Summer Colds sound.

I2R: The 3D lyric video for “Copenhagen” is quite innovative. Why did you choose to use the Unreal Engine, and how do you think technology is changing the way artists present their music?

SC: I first came across Anuvamedia on TikTok and was blown away by his style. I’ve always observed Unreal Engine in the context of virtual reality environment building and video game development. I was really inspired by his application of this technology and his ability to draw viewers into the lyrics of a song. I think that a lot of artists are resistant to new technology, but I believe it’s important to be adaptable and go with the flow of what people find interesting. Finding creative ways to apply new technology can be an art form in and of itself.

I2R: With the pandemic affecting the music industry, how did you find the resilience to continue creating and what did your creative process look like during this time?

SC: The timing couldn’t have been worse for me as far as the creative process goes. I had just released Here Comes Nothing, formed a band, and was starting to play shows to get the album off the ground. Immediately after our record release party, the pandemic hit, and live shows started getting canceled left and right. Every band we were linking up with was no longer traveling and touring for us seemed out of the question. Recording music has always been a secluded process for me, so locking myself in the studio and working on new material felt like the natural thing to do. I found solace in channeling the energy I had been putting into live performances into something constructive during that time. I think the project really saved my sanity, to be honest.

I2R: Can you give us a sneak peek into what “Missing Out,” your sophomore album, will offer to your fans?

SC: Several tracks on Missing Out were songs we had been playing at our shows that hadn’t yet been recorded. The rest of the tracks are material that has never been heard, ranging from songs written a long time ago to new songs that were written during the recording process. Stylistically I feel that Missing Out is a natural step forward from Here Comes Nothing. I learned a lot about production along the way, so it has a more polished sound while still maintaining the energy of the debut. I also spent a lot more time layering guitars and creating texture in songs over the length of the recording process.

I2R: How has the indie rock scene evolved since you started, and where do you see ‘Summer Colds’ fitting into the current musical landscape?

SC: I believe we were not alone in the feeling of discouragement that accompanied the music scene during the pandemic. Then again, a lot of great music was written during that time and continues to trickle out. I think we all took for granted how important community and camaraderie are in the music scene and I myself have been overjoyed to start watching live music again. Everything from being packed into tiny dive bars to being shoulder to shoulder at giant music festivals. I am excited for the future of Summer Colds re-entering the live music scene when the time is right, and bringing this new record to life.

I2R: Looking back at your career so far, what would you say has been your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?

SC: I would say the contrast between having so much access to creative inspiration and resources growing up and moving to a small town in Oregon without a thriving music scene. Over my years here I have learned to play multiple instruments, record, mix, and master music as well as run live sound out of pure necessity. I feel like I wouldn’t have always chosen to do so but am grateful for the experience I’ve gained using a DIY approach.

I2R: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your musical journey with ‘Summer Colds’, and what message do you hope your listeners take away from your music?

SC: As corny as it may sound, every day I get to spend making music feels like a gift, and it has genuinely saved my life on more than one occasion. Music is everything to me and I truly appreciate every moment anyone spends listening to what I create. Even if no one was listening I feel like I would have to keep making music just to stay sane in this world, but it sure is a lot more rewarding when it means something to someone or has an effect on a person no matter how small it may be. I can’t thank my listeners enough. - Idols 2 Rivals


Whiteout - Single - 4/19/19

Killing Flies - Single 5/17/19

Here Comes Nothing - Album - 5/31/19

Missing Out - Album - Forthcoming



Nic McNamara was born in Johannesburg South Africa, while his father Stevin McNamara was working as a recording engineer with musicians such as Lucky Dube, Brenda Fassi & Ladysmith Blacksmith Mambazo. When Nic was young, his family moved to Surrey England so Stevin could work alongside longtime friend & former bandmate Robert Mutt Lange on albums from artists ranging from Bryan Adams & Tina Turner to Def Leppard & Michael Bolton. Needless to say, Nic was exposed to a wide array of music at an early age and grew up accompanying his father in the studio. They moved to the states in the early 90s and Nic continued to study music and recording engineering. After years of musical experimentation and gaining local notoriety in Southern Oregon with the release of two records as Black Bears Fire in 2013 & 2015, Nic began recording as Summer Colds to bring to life a heavier sound than his former Folk Rock moniker.

The Indie Rock/Power Pop project Summer Colds released the singles “Whiteout” and “Killing Flies”, followed by the debut album Here Comes Nothing in 2019. “Here Comes Nothing combines dark, poetic song writing with the fuzzy pop sensibilities of golden era 90’s Alternative Rock. Power chord driven hooks and melodic, layered guitars provide a backbone for the vivid imagery of Nic’s melancholic lyrics.”

After playing a lineup of local shows, Summer Colds planned to tour in support of the release, but plans soon changed when the pandemic hit. During a time where playing live shows became increasingly difficult, Nic began to write and record the forthcoming album Missing Out. 3 years later, the sophomore effort has been completed and promises to be a harder, denser and more textured album than the debut.

Summer Colds currently reside in Southern Oregon and plan to release Missing Out soon.

Band Members