When We Were Young: An Interview with Homes At Night

by - July 27, 2023

During the summer of 2020, Nashville-based pairing Homes At Night spent their days outdoors. Between floating in the river and bonfires with friends, it was the perfect way to spend their summer during a time of major uncertainty. It also became the inspiration for their single, “Midwest Summer”.

“The idea for this song is kind of a reflection of the experiences we were having around the time we wrote the song,” they said. “It felt like we were having somewhat of a summer break like you used to have in grade school. [We] think the nostalgia for that part of all of our lives and the weird experience of reliving those feelings in adulthood really set the stage for that song.”

Although it didn’t feel like it in the moment, the summer of 2020 became very prolific with the amount of music they were creating. Focusing on their music and making memories with their core friend group became the inspiration for their next batch of songs.

The duo, consisting of songwriters Hank Compton and Askel Coe, said that “Midwest Summer” feels like two songs fused together. It tells the story of two former lovers visiting their hometown at the same time, and their journey of discovering if the nostalgia of it all is worth falling in love again.

The song is meant to be played in the car, windows down, feeling the humidity of a summer night. They both love a summer anthem, citing “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry, “Friday I’m In Love” by The Cure and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears for Fears as some of their favorites.

“[We] think there’s definitely a formula for summer anthems, but it’s probably a little different in each genre… There definitely has to be some anthemic sing-along quality to it. Something that makes you feel nostalgic.”

They brought that nostalgic, sing-along quality to their tour this summer with acts such as Saint Motel and Arts Fishing Club. They enjoyed witnessing the audience’s reactions to their new songs, especially when they had the opportunity to perform “Midwest Summer” in the actual Midwest. The ability to watch in real time as someone hears and relishes in a new song is incredibly validating.

When asked about the message they hope listeners take away from “Midwest Summer”, they said that an individualized interpretation is what makes music so unique.

“A fun part about making art is that you can’t control what people take away from what you make,” they said. “If anything, [we] hope that this song is a warm hug to people and reminds them of good memories they have.”

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