Jacob Dillan Summers has been many things. A sheltered fundamentalist Christian kid. A world champion drumline drummer. A marine. A lovesick transpant to icy Alaska. This is the story behind Avid Dancer – the nom de musique under which Summers is releasing Avid Dancer’s debut EP I Want to See You Dance, out October 21st on Grand Jury.

The songs on the EP are some of the most kaleidoscopic, distinctly individual – and above all, honest- pop music you’ll hear all year. During the songwriting process, Jacob Dillan Summers would start with rhythms he’d create on percussion. This process ultimate gave his material a righteous rhythmic heft across the board – from the highly danceable “All the Other Girls,” which appears as a psyched-up drum circle on Dance, and the smoky torch-soul ballad “Stop Playing With My Heart.”

Even when Avid Dancer’s music does evoke artists, say – from the vintage electro-disco pulsating through “I Want To See You Dance,” to the hushed Elliott Smith acoustics of “Medication (Demo)” – it’s a happy coincidence. Raised in a strict Christian household, Summers was forbidden to listen to any secular music until his late teens; as a result, his musical discovery remains ongoing. “Growing up before the Internet, I was cut off,” he notes. “I wasn’t even allowed to watch MTV! I lived in an alternate reality.” I remember sending some songs to a friend and he said, ‘Dude, you remind me of The Kinks.’ I thought they were maybe a new band, but when I listened to them I fell in love with their music. Another time, I got compared to Elliott Smith, and then I got really into him.”

Avid Dancer EP, out on Grand Jury Records now Streaming, CMJ Shows,

Avid Dancer Streams EP, CMJ Shows

Avid Dancer is about to hit the road again, making his way across the country with Cold War Kids and playing a string of dates which will include a handful of very special CMJ shows. Jacob Summers, the man behind the project, will be releasing his I Want To See You Dance EP on October 21st via Grand Jury. You can hear it streaming in its entirety now at Paste Magazine, who note that the record “ranges from danceable vintage pop to hushed acoustic ballads:

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