We’re nearing the end. 119 days of the semester winding down with summer right around the corner. Dead week’s over, but finals week has just begun. Some of you are officially free and the rest of us are freaking out. Here’s a summer-themed mix for those of you who are done and for those of us who are wishing we were (such as me).
The moment I come out of my last final (Friday 7 to 10 p.m., damn it) I will be throwing my earphones on and playing this song. The band from Los Angeles is a strong example of indie pop the likes of which have been radio-friendly as of late (e.g. Imagine Dragons). However, the band hasn’t received as much exposure as they deserve in my opinion, and this song is one of the most uplifting things I’ve heard in a while. Some people may recognize the tune from FIFA ‘13, which is promising, but it’s a song with Top 40 potential (and in that case it’d be an example of a Top 40 song I actually enjoy). Those looking for something a bit more laid-back could give RAC’s remix a try.
Last Lynx – Killing Switch
Speaking of laid back, “Killing Switch” is a perfect example. Last Lynx is a band from Sweden. Just like Youngblood Hawke, they self-categorize as indie pop. “Killing Switch” might sound like a song that a metal band might release, but it’s actually a relaxing song that I can see myself drinking a beer to at a campfire. Their newest EP, Ocean Reels, came out a month ago.
NONONO – Pumpin Blood
NONONO is another band hailing from Sweden. This is one of those bands that deserves attention that just might get it through one anthemic song (The Naked and Famous and Icona Pop come to mind) that has people singing, dancing and, in this case, whistling along. I can see myself listening to this at the beach and on the way there, being obnoxiously loud in my car with friends.
Coasts – Oceans
Speaking of the beach, here’s “Oceans” by Coasts. As the band name and song title might suggest, this song is overflowing with a summery vibe. Maybe it’s just me, but their sound’s as if the members of Foals grew up on the California coast instead of in Oxford. Summer’s a season made for love for some people (personally, I’m more of a winter romance guy) and this song should be a nice accompaniment.
Blackbird Blackbird – Pure
I’m including Blackbird Blackbird here mainly for two reasons. First of all, he’s from San Francisco and I believe in supporting locals. The other is that when I asked around about summer tunes, a huge portion of the responses involved Washed Out, which seemed obvious, and enough people know about his work (but I will give an honorable mention to RAC’s remix of “New Theory”). Anyway, I went with Blackbird Blackbird as an alternative answer because he’s a local artist I think deserves a bit more attention.
Dumbfoundead – Cool and Calm
This is a name that some may recognize from last year’s Hip Hop in the Park. Jonathan Park, otherwise known as Dumbfoundead, has made one of my favorite songs to lay back and do nothing do. Thematically, the lyrics are pretty heavy, but they’re relatable for most students. However, there are those times where my brain will shut down and stop all comprehension of lyricism or wordplay and this is one of my favorite beats for a mind-clearing, stress-relieving drive.
Daft Punk – Lose Yourself to Dance (ft. Pharrell Williams)
Yesterday, Daft Punk streamed Random Access Memories, their new album, in full on iTunes. In the end, this song ended up being my personal favorite (particularly for a summer list) with “Contact” and “Fragments of Time” close behind (but neither feel like summer tunes to me). The verdict’s still out on the new album. I think I need to give it another listen before I’ve completely formulated an opinion, but what seems certain at the moment is that this song will be making my summer playlist.
Les Enfants – Celeste
I’ll admit I don’t know anything about Les Enfants. I heard this song in a playlist and instantly fell in love with it. I love the little claps at the beginning and the claps that become stronger in the song. The use of mandolin and the back-up vocals make this a nice, happy song to throw away all your worries to. Something must seriously be wrong with you if you don’t tap your feet along.
Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness (Hannes Fischer Remix)
Let me make one thing clear before I talk about this song: I am not a fan of Lana Del Rey in general. I find her search for a persona as confusing as her awkward stage-turning live. Regardless, I think it’s important not to turn down an artist simply because you haven’t liked them before. You may end up surprised. What I will give her is that I think “Born to Die” is a lovely song and that she has a wonderful voice for remixes and mash-ups (like this one that I had on repeat a while back with Notorious B.I.G.). Hannes Fischer makes a catchy, somewhat happy version of “Summertime Sadness” here.
Banks – Warm Water (Produced by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs)
Some of us like mellow music for the beach and Banks has provided a good song to add to that list. “Warm Water” is completely different from “Before I Ever Met You” (a song I linked to in a previous Tunesday). I’m also a huge fan of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs for songs such as “Garden” because they have a unique sound in the world of electro music. The collaboration works for me.
The Colourist – Little Games (St. Lucia Remix)
With a guitar riff and percussion-driven sound, “Little Games” got a ton of attention on music blogs all over the internet. On its own, it’s a strong indie-rock poppy tune that you can blast for good times. However, St. Lucia gave it more of an electronic makeover that’s more suited for larger crowds. Ideally, I’d be playing this for a day club in Las Vegas or Ibiza.
Tycho – A Walk
More shoutouts for local talent. Scott Hansen, who goes by the name Tycho, is from San Francisco just like Blackbird Blackbird (but probably the more recognizable name between the two). Furthermore, one of my closest friends, Anna, is known as the “Tycho Girl” because of her presence in the background visuals during the live shows. Recently, Tycho released a music video for their song “Ascension”, and she’s being awesome in it, but to be honest it’s not my favorite song. I think “A Walk” is a stronger song in general and one of the best to fall asleep on the beach to.
Angel Haze – New York (King Krule Rework)
My summer plans are currently ambiguous, but the only thing that seems certain at the moment is that I will be going to New York in July. No, I won’t be landing to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. Instead, I will be getting off the plane with this song blasting. The original version’s a bit more brutal, whereas King Krule reworked the song into a more laid back one.
I suppose… that’s… hip-hop? I don’t know what you will be doing for the summer, but I hope that the last video made whatever you’re doing seem more awesome. Try not to get involved with a lame rapper for your summer fling, as tempting as those choreographed dance moves may seem. He’s so funky. Wherever you may be ending up for the next three months, I hope you enjoy your summers. Tunesday will continue in August and I look forward to interacting with you again then! For the time being, you can expect a summer playlist to show up on my Spotify at some point in the next month. Onward and upward.
Contact Ephraim Lee at [email protected].