Songs of the Summer
Summer is over but these songs will make it feel like it's summer *forever.*
Soccer Mommy - "Waiting for Cars"
Shortly after playing a raw and intimate set at Farm House in the spring, Soccer Mommy released her mini-album "Collection", a short yet compelling collection of dreamy bedroom pop songs about unrequited love and adolescent nostalgia. "Waiting for Cars" is a track that stands out with its haunting melodies and introspective lyrics about wanting validation and not settling for anything less: "I don't want a hollow smile I want all that's on your face."
- Allison Hsu
Vince Staples - "745"
"745" was, for me, the clear standout track from Vince Staples' stellar second album, Big Fish Theory. Excluding its gorgeous outro, the song eschews the album's electronic aesthetic and opts for a more straightforward West Coast beat. Underneath the song's slinky veneer are some of the most poetic bars of Vince's career. "Them glass shoes ain't made to walk these lonely streets / unpaved, unscathed," he raps, "and morning dew is giving you the coldest feet."
- Sam McCarthy
Tyler, the Creator - "See You Again"
Flower Boy is my most listened to album of the summer, and "See You Again" is a track that meets "song of the summer" criteria. Sounds good loud, sounds good in a car, has a great hook, satisfying drop, and lonely, love-struck lyrics. While it's not my favorite song on the album, it's undeniably a crowdpleaser. And "Who Dat Boy" immediately follows!! Good stuff.
- Meg West
Gil Scott Heron - "We Almost Lost Detroit"
We Almost Lost Detroit,” by legendary soul-jazz poet Gil Scott Heron, carries a surprisingly light-ray summery vibe. Surprising, because it’s based on the 1996 partial meltdown of a Michigan nuclear station. But with its underwater synthy keys, slow funk bass, and Heron’s casual, almost smoky vocals, the tune becomes perfect for the hot weather. Lying on the floor of an empty house, by the beach, or driving endlessly, you seem to feel the presence of distant factory smokestacks, standing there “like a creature from another time
- Ezra Kohn
SZA - "Normal Girl"
SZA has deservedly emerged as one of the year's breakout artists, largely in part to "Ctrl," a truly stunning album. For me, the standout track was easily "Normal Girl." It bumps.
- Adam Manson
BROCKHAMPTON - "GUMMY"
No group or artist dominated summer ’17 like the hip-hop collective BROCKHAMPTON, a self-stylized “boy band” that was formed on the internet and came out punching with their first two albums SATURATION and SATURATION II in June and August. The group’s youthful energy and rebellious confidence (think 2010-era Odd Future) are on full display in this banger of a track featuring standouts Kevin Abstract and Ameer Vann. Make sure to watch the video(s)!
- Henry Vehslage
White Reaper - "Judy French"
White Reaper are bringing back that cheesy '70s power pop that soundtracked American summers 40 years ago, but don’t worry; even if the music of Cheap Trick makes you want autumn to arrive swiftly, you still might find yourself enjoying White Reaper’s music. “Judy French”, the lead single off their new album, is a tour de force in power pop anthems, complete with a locomotive drum part, impassioned vocals, expertly layered guitar and piano parts, some sweet guitar-free verses, and a triumphant outro that puts “Surrender” to shame. This track soundtracked many a summer drive for me this summer and I think it’ll be doing so for many summers to come.
- Alex Richwine
Marika Hackman - "My Lover Cindy"
Though it sounds light and sweet at first, "My Lover Cindy" grabs your attention with its unexpectedly frank sentiments carried by Marika Hackman's steady voice. The guitar and background vocals are a great pair, but it's the witty, punchy lyrics that make it all the more fun to listen to. This whole album is filled with lines about feeling both deeply emotional and emotionally distant which makes it a good soundtrack for being alone with your thoughts on a summer afternoon walk.
- Aurora McGuckin
Nick Hakim - "Cuffed"
Nick Hakim's first full length album, "Green Twins," offered track after track of innovative, dense, and beautiful music. Despite its minimal attention, this album was one of the best of the summer. It showed new range for Hakim that spoke as much to many of his influences as it did his unique style and approach. "Cuffed" might not be the most fast paced or stereotypically summer song, but it really got me in the mood to groove on a hot sunny day. The drums that mimic the sounds of a construction zone, the smooth vocals and sensuous lyrics, and the experimentally soulful instrumentation make this song the ideally chill yet active summer day.
- Manny Unger
Lorde - "Perfect Places"
Lorde’s much awaited sophomore album, Melodrama, was the soundtrack to my summer. It was difficult to pick just one track, but the album closer, “Perfect Places,” is a standout. The album was produced and written by Lorde with assistance from Jack Antonoff of Bleachers, and the duo crafted an incredible electropop album. Lorde beautifully encapsulates the experience of being young and sometimes being lost in the experience and “Perfect Places” is a reflection of that art.
- Kelsey Gordon