The perfect summer activity is a carefree, aimless day lounging around on a large, grassy field under intensely sunny weather and the radiance it brings to one’s mood and surroundings. The UC Berkeley campus provides the perfect place to engage in such idleness: Memorial Glade, an oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle that the school is so famous for. But if you’re not in Berkeley, you’ll have to get a little more creative in finding a spot. Anywhere with nice grass will do: your front lawn, someone else’s front lawn, the median of your favorite major road. In any case, we are collaborating on a Spotify playlist that best pairs with precisely such leisure. The playlist itself is a work in progress, but here’s a look into some of what’s there so far.
“BLEACH” — BROCKHAMPTON
Listening to BROCKHAMPTON’s 273 members rapping over a bubbly beat reminds one of exactly what it’s like to be a student at UC Berkeley. Sure, there are parts that lack fortitude, but there is also a solid foundation to it all that makes for the perfect sound for a sunny day on the Glade. “BLEACH” has an inescapable uniqueness that runs beneath the tenderfooted raps central to the group’s appeal. Skill and a liberal attitude to styles add the most to BROCKHAMPTON’s authenticity. On this track, there’s a verse for everyone listening, and each member speaks from their own honest experiences, only attesting to the fact that, in life, there are good things, bad things, and then there are just things — a message that comes in clear in any BROCKHAMPTON song.
“Only in the West” — Yeek
Bedroom pop has taken over the indie/underground music scene in recent years — Yeek’s “Only in the West” is a Spotify Discover Weekly song that you not only add to your library but actually keep going back to during the months to come. Yeek’s dreamy guitars, silky melodies and tastefully lazy vocal delivery collectively fire on all cylinders, creating a song that sounds like it may have been written in its performer’s head during a car ride on some picturesque road in Southern California. A laid-back atmosphere is required to fully experience this track, and Memorial Glade makes for a perfect setting in order to properly take it in.
“Same Ol’ Mistakes” — Rihanna
A lot of people think this song is Rihanna doing a cover of a Tame Impala song. They’re right, but her rendition more than does the original justice — Tame Impala even said so. Rihanna’s impressive vocal range (she hits some killer high notes in the middle of the song) and Tame Impala’s electrified instrumental psychedelia form the perfect marriage, combining for nearly seven minutes of pure bliss. The song practically puts you in a trance — the sort of trance that’s best suited for a lazy afternoon soaking up rays in the grass. After getting your well-needed R&R, you’ll feel like a brand-new person.
“Oldie” — Odd Future
This song features one fiery verse each from a few hundred different members of the legendary troupe Odd Future — including Tyler, the Creator; Frank Ocean; Earl Sweatshirt; and most importantly, Jasper Dolphin (who’s “not even a rapper, only on this beat to make my racks grow faster”) — all over the same simple but iconic beat. Earl’s verse, recorded shortly after his return from his mom-imposed exile at a boarding school in Samoa, makes it clear he was wasting no time in his rise to acclaim and fame, as it’s packed with some of his most impressive bars: Try saying “Feral fuckin’ ill apparel, wearin’ pack of parasites” 10 times fast. This seemingly endless track recorded by a group of pals is perfect for a seemingly endless summer day on the Glade with a group of pals.
Regardless of how packed your schedule is before fall classes begin, it’s important to take the time to soak up the sizzling splendor of the summer sun. So grab a blanket and some beverages, open up your Spotify app, and head to Memorial Glade (or your local equivalent) to enjoy the heat while it lasts.