Premiere: Somme, ‘Memories Burning’

Somme (Photo by Zoe Rain)

Since San Diego native Jordan Cantor tossed all her instruments in the car and moved to Los Angeles to launch her electro-pop project Somme, she’s worked to find her emotional and creative footing, sifting through the ashes of relationship detritus for source material for her dark songs. One thing that has not changed since the release of her “Somme” EP in 2018 is her ability to dial in to intimate and sensual moments.

“Memories Burning” is the lead single and title track to Somme’s second EP, arriving on Friday. It’s a smoldering synth-pop meditation told in dusky vocals, part needy and part loathing. Her antipathy is directed not so much at a former lover, but at herself, for having selective memory.

“[It’s] a song about the ending of a relationship,” the songwriter says, “when all you can think about is the good times and ignore the bad. When you just want to ignore all of the shitty shit that happened and the fact that you know you aren’t right for each other because you miss that person.”

It’s the beginning of a song cycle that takes the listener into “the beginning stages of a new relationship: infatuation, lust, and desperation,” she says, referring to “Serious” and “Goin’ On.” And finally, with the song “I,” Somme ends with a note of self-empowerment.

Somme worked with Kyle McCammon from Lean and Kenny Carkeet from Fitness on her new music. The “Memories Burning” EP follows a handful of singles she released in 2019, which, for her, was a period of experiementation.

“Previously, I had done all of the writing and producing for my music, and I felt like I needed to get out of my apartment and hear new sounds,” she says. “Through working with a couple of trusted producer friends, I was able to see the bigger picture while writing. Letting go of some of the production responsibility allowed me to focus more on conveying a clear message and vision for each song. I used to be so precious about songwriting and producing. I would think if I had a good idea, it could be my last one, so I need to save it and make it perfect and work it endlessly. That could never be true. Ultimately, I realized that was only hurting my songwriting to overthink it in that way. This EP is me letting go of that fear and being more straightforward with myself and whoever is listening.”

||| Stream: “Memories Burning”

||| Also: Stream “Kamikaze” and “Serious”

||| Live: Somme plays the Bootleg Theater on Jan. 19, with Rebecca Black and Maiah Manser supporting. Tickets.