"Every year summertime ushered in a free spirited, exciting, sexy, colourful energy."
Naomi Cooke Johnson has released her first single since leaving Runaway June last year.
Written with Jason Duke and Jacob Durrett, Girls Of Summer captures memories of freedom, as Cooke Johnson reflects on what summer meant to her growing up as a homeschool student.
Cooke Johnson said in a lengthy Instagram post, “I didn’t go to school as a kid. I was homeschooled but still summer represented a type of freedom to me and my family who lived in a renovated school bus and travelled the country, state park to state park, living without boundaries and rules. Summer then was a cold stream, thick woods, fireworks and dirt under my nails from climbing a tree.
“Later, when we settled in a small town on the gulf coast, I spent my teenage years playing my guitar for tips on a dock in a tourist town, watching the boys and girls of summer come and go as the seasons changed. Every year summertime ushered in a free spirited, exciting, sexy, colourful energy. Summer lovers scattered across the beach, drunk in sunshine and freedom and for 3 months out of the year it was my job to entertain them.
“I was a bit sheltered then and in other ways entirely over exposed to the ways of the world. I was a wild child, hippie kid that came from nothing and had nothing except for a lot of spunk and tenacity. Those summers were my first taste of independence, my first love, the loss of my girlhood innocence, my first heart break. That time will always define summer to me."
“Whatever summer is to you, whether on a beach, a Broadway street, or just riding around your hometown with the windows down and your friends by your side, I hope Girls Of Summer will transport you to a barefoot euphoria of your own where new core summer memories are made,” she concluded.
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Cooke Johnson has completed her debut album. She also gave birth to her first child with husband, Martin Johnson – front man of emo band Boys Like Girls – this year.
Cooke Johnson announced she was parting ways with Runaway June bandmates Jennifer Wayne and Natalie Stovall on Tuesday, February 26, 2022. Cooke Johnson, Wayne and Hannah Mulholland formed in 2015. Mulholland left the trio in early 2020, and Stovall joined, completing the trio.
Cooke Johnson shared, “I am beyond excited to share new stories and music with you. It has been 7 wonderful years as the lead singer of Runaway June, and I am so grateful for the memories and time well spent with my bandmates, Hannah, Jen and Natalie. It has been extremely hard to keep quiet about what I’ve been up to, and I cannot wait to share everything with you all very soon!!”
Stevie Woodward joined Runaway June two months later. The singer-songwriter and instrumentalist has shared the stage with Kip Moore, Scotty McCreery and more.
The trio shared on social media, “Y’all welcome Stevie… we can’t wait until y’all fall in love with her as much as we have!! It’s been so hard to keep it a secret, but we can’t wait to share the music we’ve been working on!!! Get ready for some harmonies and duelling solos!!!”
Keep up to date with Naomi Cooke Johnson on their Facebook page here.