Summer Nights

Summer Nights

The fourth release from Toronto singer Haley Smalls may be titled Summer Nights, but it’s more a chronicle of sleepless ones. Its trap-soul serenades and after-hours slow jams are equally chill and restless, as Smalls uses her deceptively sweet voice to make brash proclamations about making bank (“C.O.D”) and put deadbeat boyfriends on blast (“Onions”). But while Summer Nights is steeped in the moody, nocturnal atmosphere synonymous with Toronto R&B, its productions are speckled with luminous guitar licks—check the tropical chillwave ripples of “Digits”—that glimmer like a skyline at night. And “Teen Spirit” doesn’t just invoke the name of Nirvana’s grunge classic; its stuttering drum-machine beat is goaded along by a tensely plucked acoustic riff that could’ve come from Kurt Cobain’s Unplugged playbook.

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