Published on June 10th, 2013 | by Randall Castillo0
SOUND Summer Playlist 2013
Last year’s “SOUND Summer Playlist” admittedly debuted a little late in the season with too few tracks. You can blame Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp for that, as yours truly was roasting in the southwestern desert, working on the 2013 summer blockbuster The Lone Ranger. True story.
With a new year comes many days on a new, even larger film set, but that won’t keep me from delivering another fresh wave of awesome summertime tunes for you, dear reader. And by now, you all know the drill: the weather’s warmer, the days are longer, the clothes are smaller and every day is a new opportunity to catch up with old friends, make a few new ones and create some stories to tell the grandkids one day. This is your soundtrack.
“Where Did The Party Go” – Fall Out Boy
No, don’t say it. I know.
“2003 called, it wants its band of the year back.”
“Did this song come pre-packaged with a trial edition of AOL?”
“Wait, is this on the soundtrack for the first season of The OC?”
Well give it a chance, would you?! The bright, upbeat vibe is a pretty wide departure from their single “My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark,” sounding like it would be much more at home on From Under the Cork Tree or Infinity on High. All of which are good things. Play this one with confidence and watch the haters and naysayers give in to the beat. This is how your summer really begins.
“Holidays” – Miami Horror
Miami Horror made the cut on last year’s short list with their disco-vibed, Kimbra-fueled track “I Look to You.” This year, they return with another killer summer jam, proving they don’t need the bright-eyed Kiwi to create a hit. Incorporating more funky, slap-type bass and lots of moving parts, the song practically comes pre-packaged with the sights and smells of a backyard barbecue cookout.
“Fourth Dimension” – Lights
Lights has long been a favorite for a while now, popping up more than once over the last couple of years. This year, the cute little (married) Canadian is back with another track from her most recent studio LP, Siberia. The track occasionally dips its toes into the rough and squealing waters of dubstep, but remains grounded as a solid, fun and typically sweet summer tune.
“Call it Love” – TV/TV
TV/TV was an electrifying pop/punk outfit from NYC that formed in spring of 2007, and made serious indie waves with their first EP—the aptly-titled Something to Get Excited About. Keen observers out there might have noticed I said “was” — like most really fun, really unique acts of the 2000s, they broke up just as things were starting to look promising. This is why we can’t have nice things, you guys.
The band’s lone LP, carrying the same title as their extended play album is pure, unadulterated fun with “Call it Love” leading the way. Although not possessing the same degree of ’70s charm, the single exemplifies many of those funk-like themes present in Miami Horror’s “I Look to You”, with a lot more pop to top it off. And that’s a formula that, for summer, should hold its own in any environment.
“Do Ya Like” – Childish Gambino
Another long-time favorite here, Donald Glover’s rap alias Childish Gambino is too good for a hot, easy summer beat to exclude from the list. This particular track, featured on 2010’s Culdesac, samples a live rendition of Adele’s gospel-y “Melt My Heart to Stone,” a move that gained him a lot of buzz within the community at the time. This year, spin the track wherever you find appropriate and generate some buzz of your own when your friends realize you have some pretty tremendous taste.
“La La La” – The Bird and the Bee
Painting lush, ethereal, fantastical moods with both their lyrics and tone, “La La La” is fairly representative of what this band does best. The song plays out like the set of a Wes Anderson film, with visuals of many segmented sections of a weird circus-like dream sequence spread out before us. Of course, that’s just one take on the song, which could also be used to score an evening with the gang while you spread blankets over a cool lawn somewhere as dusk begins to show. Or, you know what? Do whatever you want with it — this is your music now and, more importantly, your summer. We trust your judgment.
“Trust In Me” – Etta James
The decorated mother of R&B saunters on in with a song that would be best suited spinning on a record player in Don Draper’s Manhattan living room. It’s just so easy on the ears. If you find yourself in charge of the music at a mid-day outdoor gala or classy summertime affair, you know where to begin.
“Lose Yourself To Dance” – Daft Punk
Forever proud of the fact that the first album I ever purchased was Daft Punk’s Discovery way back in 2002, I am quite protective of the band. I’m even more aware of the way they’ve exploded in popularity, which came somewhere around the time Kanye West sampled the French duo for his 2007 single “Stronger.” From that point on, everyone knew Daft Punk, and everyone was supposedly a lifelong fan. Please.
But facts are facts, and the truth of the matter is that they are hugely popular here in 2013. And there’s no denying the incredible catchiness of “Lose Yourself to Dance,” the second title on the LP to feature Pharrell Williams. The song is dangerously addictive, which is totally fine. You’ll want to be blasting this one all season long anyways.
“Looks Like Sex (Steve Aoki Remix)” – Mike Posner
I was hesitant to post any track by the same man who has been credited with penning one of the worst songs of our generation (Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend”). But Mike gets a pass in this instance, thanks to one of the biggest names in EDM turning the slower, grind-it-out jam into a club-worthy dance anthem. Don’t take it too seriously and you’ll have as much fun with it as you were meant to have.
“You’re So Last Summer” – Taking Back Sunday
This middle school classic is custom built to fill the gaps in your playlist just begging to be filled with angst-y teenage tributes to the kind of heartache and letdown all of us have known at some point or another. If and when the despair of failed romance rears its ugly head this summer, you’ll have just the song to share in your struggles.
“Mama’s Room” – Under the Influence of Giants
Oh, you didn’t believe me when I said those promising bands from the 2000’s just didn’t know how to keep it together? Didn’t believe me when I said that the ’70s are on their way back? This single from now-defunct Under the Influence of Giants may not have been a major hit on the airwaves six years ago, but for my friends and I way back when, this entire album formed the backbone to our summer soundtrack. And it shouldn’t be hard to understand why: the chorus is incredibly catchy, instantly memorable and a total blast.
The whole “seventies” thing should explain itself. Those up and down strings—along with that syncopated bass line—make the song feel like it belongs in a Swedish disco in 1976. It’s our theory, however, that “Mama’s Room” would do even better blasting through the backyard speakers at your next pool party and BBQ. And when everyone asks where you got these awesome retro-funk jams from, just smile from behind your Wayfarers. SOUND has your back.
That’s it for now. Tune in for Part II coming soon.
Listen to our summer playlist on Spotify below:
[SOUND Summer Playlist 2013]