2015 summer playlist
2015 Summer Jams As it is every year I compile it, this is a list of fresh songs, released since the previous summer. These are good long days, my friends. (Visit Arts DEVO on Facebook for a link to the extended playlist.)
“Fatal Flaw” & “Dimed Out” by Titus Andronicus: One of the greatest bands in the world shares two songs from its forthcoming album (The Most Lamentable Tragedy, July 28)—the former a shout-along Clash-like arena anthem and the latter a shout-along Buzzcocks-like club rocker—to help you test how cool your neighbors are when the barbecue extends into the night.
“Sunday Candy” by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment: Surf, the impressive, ambitious, multilayered rap/neo-soul/jazz/pop project (featuring Chance the Rapper, among others) deserves more than a mere column mention. But it can't be left out of the summer party, and this rousing, hand-clapping jam about family, God and love will raise your spirits and have you singing into your thumb as you drive to work on a 100 degree day.
“Get to Know” & “Shake You Off” by Charlie Belle: This high school trio from Austin, Texas, has made two perfect (perfect!) pool-party songs—one snappy indie-pop head-bopper followed by an effortless, jazzy toe-tapper.
“Ideal World” & “Before the World Was Big” by Girlpool: Cleo and Harmony, two barely adult L.A. teens playing minimalist, drum-less, indie-pop that will cleanse the school year from your palate and open your heart to summer's possibilities.
“Shoegaze” by Alabama Shakes: This easy, uptempo groove will give you goosebumps, and when the energy rises and Brittany Howard's raw, big, gravelly voice kicks the chorus in you'll flip over your desk, bust out a window make a run for the park, peeling your clothes off as you go.
“Breathe Now in Holy Water” by Harvester: This long-ago Chico/Davis/Portland crew returns with a new album (Mt. Tallac), which includes this fun, jangly bit of hyper-pop best suited for maniacal sing-alongs (and spastic dance-alongs) just as the party starts to turn weird.
“Nobody Really Cares if You Don't Go to the Party” by Courtney Barnett: Half of the rifftastic uptempo songs on the Melbourne, Australia, rocker's acclaimed debut full-length (Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit) would fit nicely on a summer play list, but this energetic ode to crippling indifference is a more energizing jam than its protagonist lets on.
“All I Want Is to Be Your Girl” by Holly Miranda: This lively pop song by the Detroit singer/songwriter may be set in another season, but it still has the best opening line for the hot and sweaty summer: “The days are shorter, but the nights are long/ we could fuck in the sun and dance till dawn.”
“Shame” by Young Fathers: Mixing hip-hop with electro-pop, this minimalist tune by the Scottish three-piece is that sneaky dance track that'll have all the heads involuntarily nodding along.
“Back of the Car” by RAC: A breezy electro-acoustic pop tune that builds into an insistent anthem for going your own way or just getting the hell out of town for the weekend.
“Handsome” by The Vaccines: The British indie crew brings in a chorus of hand claps for this raucous garage-rocker that will blow out the floorboards as it brings the party to its feet.
“River” by Ibeyi: A chill, glitchy hand-clap loop with twin French-Cuban sisters calling you to the river to “wash my soul.” Yes, this is your slow groove for the summer.
“Texas Funeral” by Hop Along: Philly's Frances Quinlan has turned her freak-folk project into a full-on band, all of the powers of which are showcased beautifully on this dynamic mix of shimmering shoegaze and indie-rock explosiveness that'll have you pumping your fist out the window and shouting along with Quinlan's caterwaul.
“i” by Kendrick Lamar: Lamar's self-affirming and funky jam needs to be in the middle of every summer-party play list, and since it was released on Sept. 23 last year, now's the Grammy-winning tune's turn.
“The Rider” by Ice Dragon: This Boston four-piece has crafted the ultimate song to kick off an epic road trip into the desert on the hottest day of summer, with evil detuned riffage and vocals straight out of the Sabbath zone blazing the way.