MANILA -- You cannot have summers any other way – golden, memorable, frolicking under the sun, hanging out, and having fun.
“Summer,” the debut solo single from Lily Gonzales, keyboardist for indie folk band the Ransom Collective, captures all that and perhaps more.
Although written and recorded between January and March 2021, “Summer” – only released this past week – is Gonzales’ version of author Elizabeth Gilbert’s famous novel, "Eat, Pray, Love."
Like Gilbert in her best-selling non-fiction novel who found nourishment in Italy, prayer in India, and love in Indonesia, Gonzales found something similar in her travels.
In Indonesia, where she lived and worked for eight months (during the global lockdown from March to December 2020), Gonzales first and foremost became independent. And in between, she discovered a passion for surfing with her soul and surfing sister, Diane Denke; and met and fell in love with her half-Indonesian, half-Portuguese boyfriend, Maxi Sandizell.
Returning home in late December 2020 to reconnect with family, she also found the time to write, jam, and record new songs, including “Summer” with friends Pat Sarabia (on drums), Eco del Rio (bass), and Mikey Amistoso (producer). They even filmed a music video.
With the pandemic shutting down live performances and members of The Ransom Collective scattered all throughout the world, music was one thing that Gonzales turned to.
“It kept me sane even during this lockdown and various quarantines,” she said.
By the end of March, Gonzales was in Portugal to be reunited with her boyfriend where she met his friends and family. A friend of Sandizell’s also taught her how to edit her music video as she re-shot some scenes for the music video to “Summer” in the Atlantic Ocean.
From there, she was off to France to visit sister and bandmate Muriel to help her settle down in her new digs in Paris where she is now working.
Now, Gonzales is back in Indonesia where she is surfing and uploading her new songs.
“I wanted to write songs that were filled with good vibes,” she pointed out. “I think we all need it at this difficult time.”
“I think it’s funny how bad things are and yet you find something good or maybe a silver lining in between. ‘Summer’ represents that in some ways. This past year and a half has seen good and bad. It’s how you deal with it and find your own ‘summer.’”
Look out for Gonzales’ new singles (with notices on her Facebook and all streaming platforms) and an extended play single she is working on.