Alessia Cara

Though Cara's latest project is only an EP, it tells a story like a whole album.

With summer coming to an end, artists are still trying to release some last-minute summer hits, including Alessia Cara. Cara released her latest EP, “This Summer,” on Friday, and it was a good end-of-the-season offering. 

The six songs put together almost tell a story. It starts out in the beginning of the summer with Cara looking for someone to love. The EP continues with how she ends up in a relationship and concludes at the end of Cara and her partner’s summer together. Throughout the EP, she covers the ideas of being there for him and having confidence.

“This Summer” begins with “Ready.” Released in July, this was the first song from the EP Cara put out as a single with a lyric video. It has the simplistic sound with a little electronic music that Cara usually employs. It’s about how her friends try to find a summer lover for her. She finds a guy who could potentially be the one, but he doesn’t seem like he’s truly what Cara’s looking for. She sings about how he seems to be nice but might be a guy who’s not ready for a good girl. The chorus constantly repeats, “You’re not ready for / ready for / ready for / ready for me.”

Cara’s search comes to an end in “What’s On Your Mind?” She finds a guy, but he’s hard for her to read because of his shyness. She explains how she tries to talk but he stays silent, and it confuses her. It sounds a little different than “Ready.” While “Ready” is humble with only a small amount of instrumental sounds, this track is more poppy. It has some percussion and bass in the background, which is missing in other songs. She also shows off her powerful vocals, similar to how she does in “Here” and “Scars to Your Beautiful.”

While “This Summer” features mostly love songs, “OKAY OKAY” is meant to empower listeners. She’s released other hits that surround the theme of feeling good about oneself, so it isn’t surprising that Cara added a song like “OKAY OKAY.” The song is actually the story of how she came up with the lyrics. The artist even states, “Maybe if I write it down / I'll make it real somehow / 'Cause everyone's allowed to feel amazing / And I’ll never know if I commit,” which might be how she convinced herself to write “OKAY OKAY.” When it gets to the pre-chorus and chorus each time, people can hear powerful attitude in her vocal tone. Overall, this song is uplifting.

The song that stands out the most is the final track, “October.” Cara tweeted that this was one of her favorite tracks from the EP. It was a perfect song to end the story; since it’s calming, but not as optimistic as the others on the tracklist. It’s about her hoping that October doesn’t come soon since it signifies the end of summer, something she spends the entire EP dreading. 

“This Summer” is a simple way to say goodbye to the summer season. Cara shows her natural talent in this album, telling a story of a summer romance in a simple way. It’s the same sound her fans enjoy listening to.

Contact Gracie Brogowski at brogowsx@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.