Cassadee Pope’s Summer EP is a short sampler of a larger project. The four songs don’t form a cohesive artistic statement as much as they speak to the overwhelming optimism that’s becoming the trademark of her sound.

The title track is a playful summer love song that’s easy to believe coming from the Florida-raised Pope. “Piano” is equally effective. Here she sings about a guy who “played me like a piano,” but the mid-tempo vocal showcase turns toward how she’ll respond in the future. “Alien” is the most forward thinking. The empowering message and sheer honesty of the lyric makes up for a title that’s difficult to embrace or imagine coming from the lips of a radio deejay. Pope was not bullied, yet somehow she’s the perfect advocate.

Corey Crowder produced the Summer EP. He also helmed Chris Young’s most recent album, which resulted in Pope's first No. 1 hit in “Think of You.” The 26-year-old leans heavy into songs that tell her story on this album, and the result is an ear-catching appetizer that leaves one hungry for something more substantial.

Did You Know?: “Piano” was written about an ex-boyfriend. Pope says the relationship ended years ago, but she has no troubles accessing those emotions once again.

Key Tracks: “Summer,” “Alien”

Cassadee Pope Talks About Chris Young's Influence on Summer