McLaughlin first met the singer back in 2007 when they toured together. He had just put out his debut record, Indiana, and she had just released her first album, Little Voice. Like an uncomfortable blind date, the two were set up to tour through their management, never having met before. So on his way to their first show together in Seattle, Washington, McLaughlin picked up Bareilles’ album to see what this new female singer was all about and fell in love with what he heard.
“I just thought it was amazing,” he said. “Her voice is just so great. She’s such a great writer and she’s so funny. Everyone just falls in love with her.”
After McLaughlin finished writing “Summer Is Over,” he immediately knew something wasn’t quite right. He tried recording extra guitar parts and played around with a string section, but quickly took them out. After eight months of tinkering, he eventually added a 4-bar piano riff that became the bridge. But the song still needed something. After reading through the lyrics one last time he realized the breakup song was a conversation between two people and he needed another voice on the track. Sara B was his number one choice.
Though “Summer is Over” is McLaughlin’s first official duet, Promising Promises also includes a song with Xenia Martinez, one of the finalists from Team Blake on last year’s season of The Voice.
As for Sara, she just put out her 5-song EP, Once Upon Another Time, which is produced by Ben Folds, someone McLaughlin would like to work with in the future. But don’t worry he’s not bitter, just a little jealous, “She’s basically living out my dream of being best friends with Ben Folds.”
– Shannon Carlin, CBS Local