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‘2 Summers Ago’ wraps sneaky darkness in a sunny package

 A man with long hair and glasses wearing a bucket hat yells toward the camera as another man next to him looks at a vintage boombox while pressing the play button.
Bobbie Knopp and Sam Vaughn
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Micah Emrich
Micah Emrich (left) and Jacob “beanboi” Henbest.

Every week, Milwaukee Music Premiere connects the city’s artists with our listening audience. If you’re an artist with a track you’d like us to debut exclusively on Radio Milwaukee, head over to ourMusic Submission page to learn how.

You know what we need just in time for Memorial Day weekend? Summer jams. You know what Micah Emrich just premiered exclusively here on the Radio Milwaukee website and on the 88Nine airwaves? A summer jam.

This jam is so summer, in fact, that it’s right in the title. “2 Summers Ago” starts a little dark and chaotic but resolves nicely at around the 15-second mark to settle into a groove that will automatically roll down your car windows so you don’t have to. What is not groovy, however, is the tale Emrich weaves with help from L.A. dream-pop singer KEANA. Together, they do the “he said, she said” thing about a summer relationship that’s going so great that it’s … not?

I think I’m losing my grip
I thought I never would fall
I can’t do this shit
I run whenever you call
I don’t mean to mislead you
But I hate it when I need you

The production by Milwaukee’s Jacob “beanboi” Henbest fits nicely with the overall sentiment as keys and a thumpy rhythm section have an almost-imperceptible darkness lurking underneath. Like the relationship in the song’s subject matter, you can’t shake the feeling something bad is coming. But, in the meantime, you just try to go along for the ride and enjoy yourself.

“2 Summers Ago” officially hits the market this Friday, May 26, followed by Emrich’s EP Sample-Return Mission a week later on June 2. You can catch him live at Cactus Club on May 30 and on Summerfest’s Ground Floor Stage on June 30.