minihorse’s “Summer Itch” is stuck in the Michigan winter

Listen to Ben Collins’s ode to the restless winter months.

May 29, 2019
minihorse’s “Summer Itch” is stuck in the Michigan winter

Ben Collins — the Michigan songwriter, engineer, and producer who records as minihorse — spends a lot of time in the background. He’s produced and engineered records for bands like Bonny Doon and Stef Chura, developed a meditation and mindfulness app, and worked as a sort of bodyguard for Sophia the Robot — in other words, a host of things that don’t really seem to lend themselves to the naturally attention-grabbing type. It’s a lovely surprise, then, that the latest single from minihorse's upcoming record, “Summer Itch,” grabs your attention and refuses to ever really let go. A delicate indie-rock track that develops into a loud, roaring monster, “Summer Itch,” premiering below, avoids bog-standard genre trappings in favor of a spectacular and sometimes overwhelming display of Collins’s prowess as a writer and producer. Building and building across its five minute runtime, the song swells into a harsh, raw climax.

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Speaking to The FADER via email, Collins explains that “Summer Itch” is inspired by Michigan’s deathly cold winters and the restlessness they can inspire. “‘Summer Itch’ is a song about a feeling I’m sure most Michiganders will understand. When it’s freezing, I have a tendency to lock myself indoors. The days are short and sunlight is hard to come by,” he says.

“There’s a lethargic feeling to the whole thing, which drives the central tempo of this song. Initially, when we recorded it, everything was a bit more mid-tempo, until we tried massively slowing the whole tape machine down, stretching out the sound in the process. We finished the whole song on top of these slowed-down basic tracks, and it feels very much like January in Michigan." Listen to “Summer Itch” below; the new minihorse album, Living Room Art, is out this summer via Park The Van.


minihorse’s “Summer Itch” is stuck in the Michigan winter