Charleston native Sarah Summer has a debut album out this week under her new project with music partner, Sam Smetana. The project, Jollymonster, is a Phoenix-based one led by Summer’s Southern twang, acoustic guitar, folk melodies, and clear, contemplative lyrics.

“I’m far from home, but these songs are close to my heart and they definitely tap into my Carolina roots,” she says.

Also featured on the EP is Charleston’s Cole Collins — who’s releasing his own EP on Sat. Sept. 29 at the Royal American — on drums.


The album’s first single is “Mood is Right,” and here’s what Smetana had to say about the song:

“Since we do most of our collaboration remotely, I’ll often listen through the melodies, words, and chords Sarah sends me a couple times before deciding which instrument I wanna use to show up to her songs.

Sometimes it’s piano first, sometimes acoustic, electric, bass, or slide guitar. Sometimes there are lines in a song asking me to sing along. Every now and again they seem to ask for something else.

With ‘Mood Is Right’ I had the rare opportunity to test some ideas with Sarah in person before recording. I found a couple spots that felt good on the guitar, and she gave me a look like maybe they could stick around.

We eventually asked Cole Collins to record some drums; I added some bass and Sarah put on a harmony.

This song gave me chills from the first time I heard it, and I still feel em bubbling up to a cathartic moment where she has me take the break.”