Maybe I’m being a Debbie downer, but at least I’m being a realistic one when I state the obvious: summer is winding down. It’s halfway through August and before we know it, the September fall breeze will be rolling through, midnight patios won’t be as comfortable and airy summer songs will feel a little out of place.
I, for one, am excited for fall (my favourite time of year), but I’m not yet prepared to let go of this summer of exceptional music. A large part of my job is to look for, listen to and discover music – and this summer I’ve been nothing short of overwhelmed by the new album releases and singles that have occupied my playlists.
Alas, here are 10 brand spankin’ new tunes that embody beaches, rooftops and good times in the summer sun – and were all released in the last month:
1. “Summertime” – Lowell: When I said brand spankin’, I meant it. Arts & Crafts’ peculiar pop princess released this track only yesterday, to a wide array of acclaim and praise for her unique approach to power-pop balladry. Whether you listen to it now or in six months, it should apply – the Toronto-based singer penned this in the dead of winter.
2. “Tuesday” – Makonnen (Drake Remix): Again, brand new stuff here; Drake released his spin on rising US rapper Makonnen’s track on – you guessed it – Tuesday. Featuring some rarely heard Drizzy falsetto and lyrics that represent one of the best oddities of summer – weekday nights that feel like weekends – “Tuesday” might be the most pumped-up slow jam of the season.
3. “Uptight Downtown” – La Roux: I feel bad promoting only one song off her unreal new record – because they’re all a blast – but this single has that classic La Roux vibe nailed. Some uppity electro beats and her capable croon later, and you’ve got yourself the recipe to a major rooftop dance party.
4. “Intoxicated” – High Ends: This libation-themed retro rock tune from Yukon Blonde’s Jeffrey Innes is an honest, lusty ode that has a stomp heavy enough to bother the neighbours. Innes’ solo project has so far been a home run (check out High Ends’ other singles for an equally good time), and this scorching twist on a beer goggle confession is evidence.
5. “Sock it 2 Summer” – The Hood Internet (Missy Elliot vs. Blood Cultures): The Hood Internet nail it again with this sunshiney mash-up – a delectable mix of old school Missy and Blood Cultures’ dreamy synth. This one calls for windows open, top down, and anything else that gives it some air. While you’re at it, I double dare you to try not to bob to this beat.
6. “Divisionary (Do The Right Thing)” – Ages and Ages: Chanted by some bizarre lovechild of Tame Impala, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Bright Eyes and a whole other whack of indie-folk collectives, “Divisionary” is a super rad twist on a kindergarten lesson that, in light of some recent world events, feels like it should be blasted from city loudspeakers to keep us in check.
7. “Leather Jacket” – Arkells: All hail Hamilton sweethearts Arkells and their unwavering ability to make the masses feel good. I received an advance of their brand new release, High Noon, and subsequently was bursting at the seams waiting to share these predictably awesome tracks. Real stories, pretty melodies and Max Kerman’s recognizable, handsome voice make this one of the best releases of the summer.
8. “Flawless” – Beyonce and Nicki Minaj (remix): Elevator addressed? Check. Dope rhymes? Boom. Beyonce? Needn’t say more.
9. “Stronger Than That” – Bahamas: Released this week, Bahamas’ soulful, beach-ready tunes are just as pretty as expected. Listening to the whole album is like catching a warm summer breeze – with some of the best feelings lying within “Waves,” “All The Time” and “I Can’t Take You With Me.”
10. “Till Sunrise” – Goldroom: LA producer Josh Legg finally dropped his new single a few days ago, and something tells me it will help make that summer feeling last well into the chilly months. With the help of Mammals subdued (but gorgeous) vocals, Legg says this chillwave anthem “is for all of those nights that you just don’t want to end.” I think we all know a thing or two about those.