Brandon Williams makes resonant songs that capture isolation and resilience. As the songwriter behind Chastity, the Whitby, Ontario musician has made three unrelentingly perceptive albums culminating in the cathartic Suffer Summer, which is out January 13, 2022 via Deathwish and Dine Alone Records. The LP caps off an album trilogy that showcases both Williams’ emotional range as a lyricist but also his boundless love of outsider music. His 2018 debut Death Lust pulled from Unwound and The Smashing Pumpkins as he grappled with mortality while 2019’s Home Made Satan dealt in world-weary anxiety and Hum-like atmospherics. But Suffer Summer is a meditation on happiness, channeled through powerhouse riffs and undeniably potent choruses, sung with Mineral and Jimmy Eat World worn on his sleeve. It’s an album that shows how healing and staying content is hard but necessary work.
Alexisonfire and City and Colour’s Dallas Green appears as a guest vocalist on “Vicious Circle,” the emotional centerpiece of Suffer Summer. The song, which Williams co-wrote with his partner Ellis’ Linnea Siggelkow, boasts some of his best writing (“Borrowing an old feeling to cover the pain / Can’t keep memories of only the good things,”) and when Green joins to sing the second verse, it makes for the most transcendent moment on the LP. “After we put strings on this song it was just too damn beautiful for my voice,” said Williams. “Dallas’ voice reached right into that beauty. Recording this was the single most surreal and sentimental moment of the project for me I think, with how formative Alexis was for me.”