7 Reasons to ♥ Seven Summers

Seven Summers were Matt Cardle on vocals and acoustic guitar, Neillo (surname unknown) on electric guitar, Jon Holland on bass and Alex Baker on drums. Formed in Essex in 2009, the band lasted no more than two summers, never mind the seven in their name. However, they managed to pack quite a lot into such a short space of time, recording and releasing a self-financed album, playing numerous festivals and other local venues, and even winning an award or two. Along the way, they picked up a small but loyal fan base.


Alex, Matt, Jon and Neillo

Then in early 2010, one of Matt’s friends sent a video of him performing to The X Factor and the rest, as they say, is history. So, why are we still talking about them six years later? Here are our seven reasons to ♥ Seven Summers…


  1. The excitement of discovering them. After catching and being wowed by Matt’s first appearances on The X Factor, you didn’t have to dig too deep to find more material. Seven Summers showed so much more to Matt’s talents and writing skills than it was possible to see from the TV format. One of the first things you were likely to find was this video of Youngblood – written about fellow singer-songwriter Renata Youngblood, apparently.


  1. The album. Released in January 2010, we think Seven Summers qualifies as “all killer no filler.” Lots of people seemed to agree – as Matt gained exposure on national television, sales snowballed and it ended up breaking into the download and indie charts. A review from the time of its release: http://www.music.co.uk/reviews/summers-album-review.html.

The album is available on Amazon and iTunes (plus the follow-up single, Picture of You).


  1. The voice. After a bit of vocal coaching, Matt gave up trying to emulate gravelly-voiced heroes like Kurt Cobain (as heard in Darwyn) and allowed his natural tone and range to shine through. The vocals go perfectly with the music and lyrics, creating a sound that has a dreamy, wistful quality about it. There are also some charming quirks – yelps, hitches, belting and general up-and-down-ness.


  1. The guitar combo. The unusual combination of Matt on acoustic guitar and Neillo on electric made for a unique sound – rocky but also a bit folky, almost country, and even funky at times. Will we ever hear Matt and Lorenzo exploring this dynamic? We think it could work!

For points 3 and 4, see these rare videos of the band performing live: https://www.facebook.com/Seven-Summers-159642820732/videos


  1. The lyrics. “It played like every other pantomime, I was right behind you” (Bad News Again); “We’re told don’t play with fire, never ice” (Paved Paradise); and “Got a walk with a wobble and a wiggle in it” (Growing Up High) – some great lines!


  1. The look. Matt developed not only his natural singing style at this time, but also the “classic Matt Cardle” look – the checked shirt (or occasionally, a vest), ripped jeans, work boots and of course that hat. As Aiden once put it, “scruffy as hell.”



  1. Way To Be. This song has achieved near-legendary status. Matt tells the story of how it was written in the video below (from 31 minutes).


And he still plays it from time to time…


Although The X Factor meant the end of Seven Summers, it also got their music heard. Matt’s bandmates knew this – we’ll give them the final word.