Kaiyah Mercedes, a 15-year-old singer-songwriter, delivers an incredible debut single with their new song, “After Summer Ends.” “After Summer Ends” is an ethereal alt-pop song that displays the conflicting feelings of an inevitable breakup. Mercedes attempts to balance the knowledge that this love must end with the temptation to prolong the goodbye for as long as possible.
“I know things will change after summer ends.” Despite having a clock on this love and knowing that a heartbreaking goodbye is steadily approaching, Mercedes is choosing to take what they can get with the time they have left. The pureness of Mercedes’ love is stronger than the knowledge that it cannot last forever.
Using the verses to reminisce on the good times, such as “starry nights” and “lullabies,” and the chorus to anticipate the end of them is a lovely artistic choice. The lyrics draw us in, set us up for a love song, and then subvert our expectations. It perfectly represents the bittersweet duality that loving and losing brings to each of our lives.
One of the enticing things about this song is that it is fictional. Mercedes blended their imagination and past experiences to create the tale of two characters reaching the end of their story together. Even though the people of this song don’t technically exist, we can still identify with them. Being in love and knowing, or at least fearing, it won’t last, is unfortunately a universal experience. But in “After Summer Ends,” Mercedes reminds us of the small beauties that can always be found in a lost love.
Written by Emily Cushing
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