Guys, the end is in sight. I’m down to one week: one paper, a few exam periods in which we won’t actually be taking exams, and two internship shifts. So of course all I’ve been doing when that light at the end of the tunnel is looking a little dim is imagine summer. As I procrastinate, I daydream about warm weather and fun activities. I’m ready for sundresses and recreational reading, Birkenstocks and working on my Spanish, cookouts and writing, working and social life. After a gross winter and demon semester, I’m ready for summer. Especially as someone living in Massachusetts, where spring doesn’t exist, I’m over the cold weather and seriously jonesing for some heat (that I don’t have to pay for ’cause wow gas bills blow).
Usually, my summers consist of working multiple jobs (last summer was three with the occasional fourth side-job) with crazy hours (9AM-11PM, ‘cause why not hate yourself). This time around, I’m doing something different. It’s my first summer away from home and the last time my Boston friends and I will all be in the same place for an indefinite period of time. Despite my growing anxiety about finding a job (I’m so employable, why won’t anyone hire me?!?!?!?!), I’m pretty pumped for a slower-paced, more personally productive summer.
And what is summer without a standby playlist of new releases and a few oldies? A lot of artists have been churning the works out lately, some teasing albums to come. Here are some that’ve been soundtracking my summer daydreams.
The Lumineers (Gale Song // Angela // Sleep On The Floor)
I always just thought of the Lumineers as good, but one-hit-wonder whatevers. But when I saw they’d released a new album, I thought I’d check it out. And I gotta say, I’m enjoying it. There’s not exactly anything new about their sound, they’re not a groundbreaking band, but they do what they do well. This catchy, acoustic trio will be perfect for days of sitting in the sun and solo reading.
Broods – Free
Broods’ Evergreen was one of my favorite 2014 albums (that I listened to in 2015). “Free” is for sure more pop-influenced and less, well, brooding than their other stuff, but it’s a fun song. It starts out very Alessia Cara-esque, but takes a more alt-rock-infused turn and features empowering, opposed to wallowing, lyrics. I’m kickstarting my running career again now that the weather allows for outdoor exercising and this song will for sure get me around the pond.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – PersonA
I think I’ve ultimately come to the conclusion that this isn’t my favorite of their albums, but I am enjoying it nonetheless. Ed Sharpe & The MZs capture that lazy bumming around sound so well, while still throwing in a few more energized songs. “Hot Coals” starts Tame Impala-type psychedelic and then gets almost a bit 20’s jazzy. Then you have “Somewhere” (which may be a rip off of “Here Comes the Sun”???) and “No Love Like Yours”, which are just lovely little tunes. I can for sure see some lax drinking nights spent sitting outside and listening to this album.
AlunaGeorge – I’m In Control // I Remember
Last summer AlunaGeorge came up on my Discover and I liked what I heard. She’s back with a couple new tracks and they are meant for some rowdy summer fun. “I’m In Control” features Popcaan, who may very well be a womanizer based on his lyrics, but is just so careless and compelling. Maybe it’s just because when I think of him I think of Jamie xx, but this song would be hands down perfect with some steel drums. As is, it serves as a solid hype song. “I Remember” takes a more subtle approach, building up to it’s pop R&B hook and chorus. These songs sound more refined, to me, than her earlier stuff and hint at some catchy new tracks to come.
The Temper Trap – Fall Together
The album art for this new Temper Trap single is a photo of two people jumping into the water and that very much captures this song. It starts out sounding nearly Smiths-like, and then works into a more stadium rock type song. There’s a total exhilarating fall feeling to this song and Temper Trap pull it off well.
Flume – Smoke & Retribution // Never Be Like You // Say It // Wall Fuck
Flume is killing me with his new songs! “Smoke & Retribution” features Vince Staples and Kucka; a song that alternates between bouncy, tight rap verses and a sexy, ethereal chorus, this pump-up jam is catchy AF (another for the running playlist). “Never Be Like You,” featuring Kai, shifts from slow pace and gentle female vocals to an upbeat, badass woman’s song. The newest two are “Say It,” featuring Tove Lo, and “Wall Fuck.” “Say It” works Tove Lo’s pop angle, while Flume adds his hip hop, dance twist. “Wall Fuck” is an instrumental piece that actually sent me into a quarter-life crisis (no, I do not intend to live past 84). Flume uses the CD skipping sound and all of a sudden I started wondering if (hurling in preparation for using this phrase) kids these days (vomitrocious) could even identify that sound. Old feelings aside, Flume’s new songs are already highlighting my season and teasing me for more.
A couple oldies I can’t keep off my summasummasumma list:
Atmosphere – Sunshine: CLASSIC
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Stranger to My Happiness: These killer musicians were the ones who backed Amy and served as her horn section. They pull through on their own, too.
Graffiti6 – Stare into the Sun: This was a hardcore high school spring song. I remember driving around the first days that were warm enough to do so with the windows down and blasting this song, feeling like the sunglasses emoji before it even existed (always ahead of the times). It might just be that memory, but for me this song still holds up and screams warmth.
Hinds – Bamboo: It’s not exactly new. It’s not exactly old. But I will definitely be jamming to our fav women this summer.
Seeing as my semester finishes bizarrely early, I imagine most people have a couple more weeks to go. But hopefully this playlist offers everyone’s finals season an upbeat tone and provides some pleasant procrastinating daydreams. Best of luck, celebrate end of demon semester heavily, and start summer with lots of music!