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Friday, March 16, 2012

Summer Songs/Playlist

Whether you are throwing a summer party, going on a road trip, or simply want to imbibe the season, a summer song play list is a perfect way to get you in the mood. Summer songs are catchy, relaxed, and give off a carefree vibe that paints a perfect picture of a warm, sunny day by the beach. Here is a list of songs I love listening to during summer.

1.)    One Look by Kjwan is probably the most summery OPM track ever made! It feels summery from the first beats of their gorgeously layered percussions that give us a sound that is somewhat reminiscent of reggae and traditional Hawaiian music melded with modern alternative. The simple melody and catchy hook makes this track the perfect sing-along song wherever you might be spending your summer.
2.)    Amber by 311 starts with an LSS-worthy guitar intro that extends for three bars until hard-hitting percussions come in with the vocals. The textured voice of 311’s vocalist makes the song seem relaxed and gives off a carefree vibe that makes the song perfect to listen to by the sea or while driving top down to someplace far. It’s one of those songs you listen to with your friends to make your summer vacation extra-memorable. Truly, if there was a perfect summer anthem, this would be it.
3.)    Island in the Sun by Weezer is a song that grows on you. After a couple of listens you get the intro (a repetitive “hip hip” cheer) stuck in your head as you realize that you’ve listened to the track too many times. Although Weezer’s vocals now sound like that of every other alternative band’s; the fact that his vocals are a wee bit generic makes it all the more relatable. The simple melody is easy to sing along with and the beat has enough edge to make it crossover to post-summer listening. The track is about moving away to some island where there is no stress or pressure. Consider this your summer ode.
4.)    Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow starts off oddly like an 80s track, with bits and pieces that do not sound organic. Thankfully that is masked by the gorgeous guitar riff that acts as the perfect backdrop to frame Crow’s voice that sings of enjoying what you have, staying positive, and wearing a carefree demeanour. Sheryl’s voice is not on-point, but as the song suggests, this is a piece of work based on the premise of not sweating the small stuff. Does it make for a great summer song? Hell yes. In fact, it still makes me feel nostalgic for no apparent reason or related experience. Why? Because it reminds you of the perfect summers in your past.
5.)    Pure Shores by All Saints is unlike most of the songs in this list because it does not remind you of the beach, it does not sound organic, as the instruments used in the production of this track were all electronic (I assume). However, it puts you in the mood to grab a cocktail, sit back, and lounge in some windy place. The electronic sounds gives off a dreamy vibe that takes you to a place where time stops and you are allowed to let your hair down and enjoy clouds pass by.
6.)    Summer Sunshine by The Corrs is the perfect soundtrack for a flirty summer. The track is pure genius. It has a late 80s- early 90s pop-rock vibe that is guitar driven and jolly. Oddly, the vocals are run through an auto-tune machine that is so popular these days which gives the track some much needed edge. The production is interesting, as the track provides a sensory overload of beats on beats with strings and electronic elements. The result? A memorable summer track that keeps you lusting for a summer fling.
7.)    Just Go by Lionel Richie and Akon marked the comeback of Mr. Richie into the music scene some years ago. True to his brand of silky vocals and catchy hooks, Just Go, is a throwback tune that reminds us of Lionel’s past works. The good news is that it has been updated with more modern beats and Akon’s distinctive bellowing. With the vocalist’s staccato intonation, the web of back-up vocals, and island inspired percussions, the track reminds one of a vacation in the Bahamas where the sand is white, the water is clear, and the island isn’t overpopulated.
8.)    Put Your Records On by Corrine Bailey Rae doesn’t take you to the beach, or the pool, or the lounge, or the car for a road trip. This summer song is a little more laid back. It conjures up thoughts of a picnic in a park while watching kids play at a distance. It reminds you of that hilltop vacation when everything went well and drama was far away. With Ms Rae’s honey-dipped, throaty vocals the track sounds warm and familiar. The easy strumming of the guitar sets the perfect frame for the simple melody and half-spoken verses.
9.)    Over the Rainbow by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole is a cover of the Broadway classic Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland. The track only features IZ’s smooth vocals over the sound of his tiny ukulele, but sometimes, that is all it takes to make you lust for the ocean breeze against your skin.
10.)                        Breathe by Telepopmusic is a heady, electronica track that somehow made it mainstream. Unlike most songs the songs in the list that gives off a beachy island vibe, this one takes you to a posh lounge in central Europe where things are expensive and music is more sophisticated. The gorgeous vocals of Angela McCluskey, a long time collaborator if this French trio, makes this song memorable with her repetitive auto tuned whispers that command the listener to “just breathe” while enjoying the fast-paced mish-mash of beats and percussions that take you to a whole different world.