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ALBUM REVIEW: Summer's End With The Driver Era

The music project of Rocky and Ross Lynch originally debuted in 2009 as R5 with siblings Rydel and Riker Lynch, as well as longtime friend Ellington Ratliff. Holding together for nine successful years and playing sold-out arena tours worldwide, R5 made a name for themselves amongst the music industry and loyal fans.

Debuting in 2018 as The Driver Era, the duo debuted with party hit “Preacher Man”, already claiming themselves as alt-pop kings. With their debut album dropping in 2019, X features the romanticized “Welcome To The End Of Your Life”, robust dance hit “Nobody Knows”, and romantic dream-pop “San Francisco” amongst others that instantly grab you. 2020 brought us captivating singles such as “Fade”, “Places” and “Take Me Away”, leading up to sophomore album, GIRLFRIEND. Combining R5 fans with accumulating new ones, The Driver Era presents themselves in a new era.

The soundtrack to perfectly end summer ‘22 is a collection exploring adventure, emotion, and intimacy. Rocky describes the album, “We always like to express ourselves in a raw honest way, but I think this release goes a little bit harder. “With Summer Mixtape, these are songs that are a nod to that state you want to be in — having fun and enjoying life with the people you care about.” Summer Mixtape opens with nostalgic summer track “Malibu”, encouraging you to reflect on experiences and adventures of the past. With soft acoustics and repetitive beats to lead you through, “Malibu” serves as your guide on a journey to the past. The music video (shot and edited by director Tate Morgan) features vintage summer vibes and reminiscing of previous vacations. The track and video alike capture “firsts” and memories of summer love.

Traveling into the next track “Turn Up The Music,” the duo progresses into party mode with compelling vocals from Rocky and funky drum beats. With simple lyrics such as “I can’t get enough” you’re instantly visualizing a nightclub-esque party, dancing all night long. Slowing things down for more of a romanticized song, the duo integrates alluring vocals during “I got you, you got me” for 1:25, leaving you craving more from TDE. “Fantasy” exclaims the deep nature of intimacy and learning how it can grow. Amidst calming acoustics and falsetto-like vocals from Ross, you’re taken away to “fantasy” land. The beautifully elegant black and white music video (a film by Gordy De St. Jeor and executive producer Ryland Lynch) presents 1800s vibes and captures the overall pleasure of “Fantasy.”

“The Money” presents something quite unique from Ross and Rocky, providing a house music vibe with repetitive beats and catchy rhythms, allowing you to escape to a sonic dreamland. Not only does The Driver Era write and produce their entire record, but used their own mixes as well. Rocky explains, “I was playing a melody and Ross wrote something to it. ‘Bronco’ was just the title of the session but it has a bigger meaning now. “Being in a relationship is like riding a horse; it’s a lot of ups and downs.” “Endlessly” provides a softer tone with illuminating keyboard notes and gradual beats. It’s a song about influenced decisions, embracing attraction, instinct, and control. Rocky says, “It’s about the observation of the mind and body.”

The completion of Summer Mixtape closes out with a motivational and hypnotizing track, “Keep Moving Forward.” A collaboration between The Driver Era and Nikka Costa and Rolling Stone-approved dance track graces us with motivational lyrics about progressing in line and keep moving forward, no matter what obstacles we face. “We are super stoked to have Nikka Costa on this track. She is a legend and we’ve been fans for a long time. The song would not have been the same without her.”, Ross explains. From beginning to end, The Driver Era proves their career to the next level and has provided their next era.

Rather than chasing what’s trending on Tik Tok or busting out songs that aren’t true to themselves, The Driver Era promises to remain honest and produce music that feels good to them as they remain their true authentic selves. As no stranger to the live music scene, TDE is live and electric during shows as they captivate crowds with illuminating beats, exhilarating vocals and perfect showmanship. The band is currently on a 60+ show tour spanning across the globe including US, South America, Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe.

We trust in our hearts that we can always depend on Ross and Rocky to embrace us with songs that are honest and filled with love and compassion. As a fan of nine (and counting!) years, I am proud to announce The Driver Era is and always will be one of the artists that have shaped my life and who I am.

Check out tour dates, stream/buy the album + more from The Driver Era below!




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