Ghost Of Summer’s Past: A Track-by-Track by Gage Benham

An exploration of emotional unavailability, fictional dream girls, and the allure of toxic love

We were recently mesmerised by the musical journey of Gage Benham‘s latest album, “Ghost Of Summer’s Past.” With a charming nod to the classic Smiths vibe, this album takes the hand of your personal misgivings and relationship experiences and effortlessly sweeps you into the heart of a coming-of-age tale, potentially set in the early 2000s NY. Its tunes, as catchy as they are, transport you into the lead role of your own indie-pop narrative.

This vibrant collection delves into the very fabric of the indie pop world. From the exuberant crashing energy of “Mixed Signals” to the tender vulnerability of “Never Love Somebody Again,” each track paints a unique emotion. But it’s more than just an indie rock compilation; it’s a living tapestry woven with Gage’s personal experiences, etching a snapshot of his life’s intricate emotions.

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Hailing from Rochester, NY, Gage Benham’s musical odyssey began at age 12 with a guitar in hand, driven by the spellbinding sounds of Eddie Van Halen. His journey meandered through influences like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Doors, and Bob Dylan. At 24, he ventured to LA, where he honed his sound.

“Ghost Of Summer’s Past,” Gage’s debut LP, is his heartfelt ode to the world. Recorded in LA between 2021 and 2022, this album, inspired by iconic albums like The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” and The Beatles’ “Rubber Soul,” paints a vivid tale of a fleeting summer romance’s poignant end.

Dive into this captivating musical chronicle, each track a chapter of Gage’s past romances, meant to be savoured in sequence. Just like vinyl, each note echoes the warmth of nostalgia and the promise of new beginnings.

Gage has generously dissected the story behind each track on the album, granting listeners an intimate glimpse into the emotions and experiences that inspired his musical journey. Read along for the track-by-track of “Ghost Of Summer’s Past”

Sea of Survival

When I moved to Los Angeles, I felt like a small fish in a big pond. Things can be pretty cut-throat and you have to learn how to survive in the business. In this track, I compared the city to an ocean filled with creatures. In essence, many people do live in this ‘Sea of Survival’ and do what they can to get by day by day. Fans of Sublime and Smashing Pumpkins would probably dig this track.

Walking Down The Street

The story behind this song is completely fictional. The melody actually came to me while I was showering one morning, and the lyrics came later. I was sitting inside one hot afternoon during the peak of COVID-19, looking out the window. I said to myself, ‘Wouldn’t be great if a beautiful girl walked by’ and I put this ‘dream girl’ into the song. It’s also, according to the concept of this LP, the beginning of the summer fling. Fans of pop-punk and surf-rock would probably dig this track.

Mixed Signals

This song was released as the first single off my LP. To be honest, I wrote about receiving ‘mixed signals’ from a girl I worked with at Target… we eventually started hanging out. Musically, I’d say that The Byrds were my main influence for the song’s guitar percussion style. Who hasn’t received Mixed Signals at least once in their life?

Never Love Somebody Again

This track is the shortest on the LP. About a minute and a half, right? This song is about having a great opportunity with someone romantically, but being emotionally unavailable for that person despite some feelings here and there. This song serves as the turning point of this summer fling concept. I wanted to write a song that tells the whole truth, while others in this position would either lie or ‘ghost’ their significant other in this situation.


“Dream” was written about another girl I used to see while working at Target, and being in some sort of denial regarding our ‘going our separate ways’ as I was still into her. Music was influenced by John Lennon, and serves as the sibling of my next track, ‘Love Is An Airport’.

Love Is An Airport

This track was one of the first songs I ever wrote, way before this LP was a thought.  I was 19 years old, flying back to Rochester after visiting Los Angeles for the first time. That one visit really opened my eyes to not just the opportunities available on the west coast, but also the beauty of the place. The song’s lyrics and melody were mostly created in my head during that flight back home. Think about it: Airports have many different terminals and directions to go. You choose the flight, but layovers and delays can change some things. I believe that love is a similar ordeal…

Couldn’t Leave You If I Tried

This song serves as the end of the relationship. Written about a girl I was with in a past relationship, it emphasizes how hard it is to leave someone you love despite the toxicity. Fans of Alternative Rock and Indie Rock would probably like this one.


Another version of “Change” was released in 2020. I wanted to give the song another chance this year. It is about losing your way, but maintaining hope that you will find your path again.

Check out the new album from Gage Benham, and stay connected with him for the next release


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