The Rocket Summer is a one man band. Literally. The Rocket Summer frontman (well...only man) Bryce Avary sings vocals in addition to playing guitar, bass, piano, violin, drums, and a plethora of other instruments during recording sessions for his band, though he tours live with a group of high school friends. As impressive as this is, it is even more impressive how good it sounds. Bryce's expressive, falsetto vocals float above restrained drums, lilting piano lines, and passionate power pop guitar chords so effortlessly that you'd hardly imagine every aspect of his music was recorded independently and spliced together in post-production.
Raised in Corleyville, Texas, Bryce started playing guitar, then began playing other instruments in middle school. At age 16, after gaining regional popularity by performing in shows around Dallas, Bryce released his first self titled solo album to local music stores. Naming his "band" The Rocket Summer (after a short story in a 1950 science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury), the album sold well and The Rocket Summer became a popular request on Texas radio station KDGE.
Following positive coverage in music magazines, Bryce released his first full-length album, Calendar Days, in 2003, under an independent California label. The album sold relatively well, with Bryce's uplifting vocals and expert musicianship shining through on tracks like Skies So Blue. A devout Christian, Bryce's lyrics are inspirational and family friendly without being overtly preachy.
His next two albums, 2005's Hello, Good Friend and 2007's Do You Feel, are even more musically complex than Calendar Days. Using brass instruments, violins, and even his little sister's 6th grade orchestra, these albums mix Bryce's expressive, operatic vocals (Rat Pack) with music that is decidedly more aggressive (So Much Love) and daring than on Calendar Days. The Rocket Summer, along with tourmates Anberlin and Switchfoot, have become involved with To Write Love On Her Arms, a Florida-based nonprofit group dedicated to dealing with teen depression and substance abuse, and are touring aggressively in support of TRLOHA across America throughout 2008.
Texas native Bryce Avary, the singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer mastermind behind The Rocket Summer, has accomplished enough for someone a lot older, as he prepares to record his fifth full-length studio album. "We're not talking simple acoustic solo stuff here. The music Bryce Avary makes as The Rocket Summer is lush, explosively catchy and artful power pop that hints at a new Brian Wilson or Prince in the making. Keep an eye out on this one." - AustinCityLimits.com
User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.
The Rocket Summer is the rock solo-project of Stephen Bryce Avary who is based in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. Avary is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer. He writes and produces every song on his records, as well as plays every instrument on them.
Inspired by such bands like Archers Of Loaf, Jets To Brazil and Superchunk, he has released four studio albums and several EPs. His most recent release, Of Men and Angels, held the #1 Top Album spot on iTunes upon its release on February 23, 2010. AP Magazine, in April 2008, called him one of "100 bands you need to know."