Cabaret Meets Folk in Summersett’s “I Accept”
Legend of Zelda Voice Actress Releases Single Ahead of 2023 Album
Montreal art folk band Summersett released their new single and “I Accept” and accompanying music video on Nov. 4. The band launched their new song at the MainLine theater where they performed alongside burlesque and roller dancing acts.
Summersett is the brainchild of Nick Carpenter and Patricia Summersett. Releasing their first album in 2015, the duo often play with an orchestra and accompanying band. “I Accept” preceeds their second album Friends at the End of the House to be released in winter 2023.
The duo work outside of music as well. Summersett is an actor and voice actor, she is widely known for being the voice of Princess Zelda in the Legends of Zelda franchise. Carpenter has worked in theater and teaching, even teaching some theater writing classes at Concordia.
“At root we feel that we’re a folk band, but we draw from so many traditions of music,” said Carpenter. The band label themselves art folk to express their stylistic combination of cabaret, folk, and string music.
“I Accept” has been years in the making. According to Carpenter, the song has been in the works since 2017.
When discussing how the song came into being, Carpenter offered up this insight into their songwriting: “Patricia and I are collaborators, but one of us usually has the brainchild of the song. This one initially came from me.” The song itself explores themes of acceptance and how far someone will go before they can no longer bear the hardships of life and love.
“I Accept” specifically blends folk and cabaret. Carpenter described the song as having “the cabaret vibe [being] alive and well and contrasted in the bridge with more folk and blended together in the final chorus.”
According to Carpenter, what made this song special was how much the whole band worked together to give it life. He said the band relocated to an isolated cabin and that this helped everyone contribute to one of Summersett’s most creative songwriting sessions yet.
The music video for “I Accept” was also released on Nov. 4. Directed by Caitlyn Sponheimer, it’s set in a world without water. Kayleigh Choiniere, the costume designer and one of the dancers in the video, sought to capture a vintage apocalyptic vision for the video. Sponheimer said they wanted to “contrast bright yellow with the dark undertones of the video.”
Sponheimer described the video as a passion project, and said it was a joint vision between herself and Patricia Summersett. The band struggled to settle on a concrete set of imagery for both the song and music video. According to Patricia Summersett, the concept of a “dark humor cabaret,” was eventually embraced by the entire band. When Sponheimer told Choiniere about the idea of putting synchronized swimmers in a world without water, the visual ideas started to flow.
The video is a commentary on climate change and how long people will continue to accept it without taking action. “Once we got to climate change,” said Sponheimer, “we started to play around with that and go outside the box.” The team who worked on the video took great efforts to make the video look appealing while caring for the environment. “We tried to do a green set, keep it as low waste as possible,” added Summersett.
Carpenter recounted an incident during the shoot where prop bottles filled with pink liquid were spilled. She explained the liquid spread all over the floor of the set, and that the crew acted quickly to turn an accident into an impromptu addition to the video. “It ended up being a really stunning shot,” said Carpenter.
“We were debating what to release as a single, the music video is what made that decision,” confessed Patricia Summersett. She added that the song and the video go closely hand in hand, forming a vision of who the band is.
“This is a very interesting part of a much larger piece,” said Patricia Summersett. “We are looking forward to the next step beyond this.” “I Accept” will appear on Summersett’s upcoming album Friends at the End of the House in winter 2023.
This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 6, published November 8, 2022.