Published on August 26th, 2014 | by Randall Castillo0
SOUND Summer Playlist (Part 2)
We should probably just go ahead and call this second half the “SOUND Summer Isn’t Over! Playlist,” as we fight the losing battle that is the transition into Fall. Some of the kids are already back at school and the days are, regrettably, once again getting noticeably shorter—that much we’ll admit.
But summer won’t be defeated without throwing a few punches of its own; with a couple of weeks left, let’s go out with a bang (from your speakers).
“Paris (Aeroplane Remix)” – Friendly Fires
Friendly Fires has made the list every year since our first ever Summer Playlist back in 2011, so it would have felt wrong abandoning them completely. Mixing things up, however, we decided to include the Aeroplane Remix of the group’s self-titled 2008 debut, which features brand new (female) vocals by Williamsburg trio Au Revoir Simone and a thumping, electric disco beat. We won’t be mad if you don’t stick around for the song’s entire 7:45-long runtime, but with a catchy beat that’s easy to get sucked into, we also won’t be surprised if you do.
“Always (Classixx Remix)” – Panama
The standard version of Always is a much more gripping and sincere affair, one that elicits powerful emotions and a haunting message. None of these things seems perfectly appropriate for the last days of your summer (Or maybe they do! Feel free to check it out here). But for those of us who’d rather spend the remaining weeks soaking in sun-filled bliss and cheerful moments, the Classixx version is much more apropos.
“Cheap Sunglasses” – RAC
RAC made a name for themselves in the remix world (because we just can’t get away from remixes, apparently), even naming their group after acronym Remix Artist Collective. But after several years of putting their magic touch on other bands’ work, they’ve decided to release an LP of their own. Turns out they’re really damn good.
Featuring vocalist Matthew Koma—who is, himself, a specialist in catchy pop-vibe tunes—the closing track on Strangers is a vibrant tribute to many-a-person we’ve come across in our years in this life: cheap knockoffs with clear intentions. Oof.
“Give Your Love” – MDNGHT
You’ll be needing a track to go along with an inevitable late night party or one-one-one rendezvous, that much is certain. Also certain is that this silky, sexy, 80’s-style electro-rock amalgamation of tribal drum-backed goodness oozes “bad girl on a good night”, and that it is the perfect companion for exactly that.
“Girls” – The 1975
We told you in November of last year that The 1975 was a group to be on the lookout for, and we weren’t wrong. Riding high off of their single “Chocolate”, the UK band has been making a name for themselves on the summer festival circuit, and is poised for an even bigger 2015.
But of all the tracks on their breakout album, none is better suited for hip, 20-something females to shake their hips to than the oh-so-fitting track “Girls.” Subtly complicated background guitar and bass riffs wind up and down while rhythm guitar sets the beach-perfect vibe, and leadman Matt Healy’s swoony, British voice echoes the two most important words for this generation: “Just girls.”
“Don’t Tell Me” – Joel Crouse
That’s right—this year, you’re getting two country songs. Surely a sign of the times. Joel Crouse’s honky-tonk, saloon rock tribute to classic 90’s country is the perfect companion to a rowdy night at a dance hall, cold, aluminum cans of watered-down domestic brews and all.
“Real Slow” – Miami Horror
If we had to pick a favorite on this year’s list, this could very easily be it. Miami Horror’s penchant for putting modern spins on that reoccurring disco beat is unrivaled, and it makes for some of the best feel-good, summery vibeness in existence. We’re well aware we’re making up most of these words, but pre-existing adjectives just don’t do the track justice—our best advice is to put this one on repeat, and let the music do the work.
“One Night of You” – We Are the Strike
Provo, Utah: home to Brigham Young University, Mormons, and … successful band after successful band? You wouldn’t know it, but the mountainous region better known as “Happy Valley “ has been the breeding ground for several breakout musical acts with various levels of success—Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons, to name the two biggest examples. But smaller bands like Fictionist and The Moth and the Flame have made some levels of noise on the national scene; remarkable for a college town of such minimalist proportions.
We Are the Strike—originally simply known as “The Strike” before realizing a British skinhead punk-rock grunge quartet already possessed the moniker—could very well be the next big name to pop off of this list. Boasting vocals that have been compared to the likes of Adam Levine and Stevie Wonder, lead crooner Chris Crabb and the band’s horn-filled EP conjures thoughts of Earth, Wind & Fire and the King of Pop. Neither is a terrible comparison, and after listening to the short, 2 minute and 55 second-long track, you’re going to have to listen to it again.
“Interstate Love Song” – Memphis May Fire
There is a level of personal pleasure taken at the inclusion of a controversial song in every SOUND Summer Playlist, and this will undoubtedly prove to fill that spot. The famous Stone Temple Pilot single gets a bit of a modern pop-metal treatment, but it mostly remains loyal to the source material, with cleaner vocals and a more upbeat tempo. Whether or not you loved the original, this one is worth a listen.
“Don’t Take Me Home (feat. Vic & Gab)” – Betablock3r
If Miami Horror’s “Real Slow” is our favorite track on this year’s list, this one is a very close contender for the top spot. Betablock3r have taken a similar route to RAC—transitioning from a remix-only outfit to putting out original tunes, this being their first. From a weekend getaway in Vegas to a pool party after midnight, “Don’t Take Me Home” is at its best when the sun goes down.
“The Worse It Gets (RAC mix)”—Penguin Prison
With all this talk about “RAC this” and “RAC that”, we decided it best to let you hear what kind of work they did in their remix days, so here it is. Chris Glover—or Penguin Prison to you and me—also made his name on remixes before releasing a solo album in 2011. So, for those keeping score at home: this is a song from a remix artist on his solo album, remixed by remix artists who recently released their solo album. Alrighty then.
But about the song itself: One of the livelier tracks on this list with a really fun bass and guitar line, there is zero guarantee you won’t want to name your car “Jenny” after a few listens.
“All That Matters” – Giraffage
Consider this a sort of palate cleanser, if you will. Or the bowtie on top of the presentation before one last hurrah. Giraffage—yes, another pseudonym for a solo electronic music producer and performing act—lays down a mellow beat, with looped vocals that completes the chill. Here we go.
“Mistakes” – Breathe Carolina
One last banger for the books, Breathe Carolina wraps up our summer run with one of their most memorable, franticly electric tracks since “Blackout”. And, just as it serves as the final track for their recent LP “Savages”, so it serves as the closer for our Summer Playlist in 2014.
It’s been another great run. Thanks for sharing it with us, and we’ll see you when the sun makes it’s comeback in 2015. Until next time.