Ah, there you are Millikin! The semester has arrived and classes are in full swing, but summer jams are still thriving and the possibilities of grooving along are endless! For the first playlist of the semester, let’s gather and recognize some of the bops that graced speakers, radios, and even turntables (yes, they still exist!) this summer. With a pep in each step, this week’s playlist will have the listener dancing and singing along throughout every melody, key change, and catchy chorus.
“Summer Girl” – HAIM: Right off the bat, infectious grooves start from the repetitive yet never annoying hyatt. Luscious vocals appear and the rest becomes history as the tune develops into this unearthly creation filled with wondrous innuendos, glorious melodies, and a sexy sax riff that leaves one begging for more. HAIM’s “Summer Girl” kicks off that easy going summer vibe with a calming nature intertwined into each loop of the chorus.
“You Ain’t The Problem” – Michael Kiwanuka: Kickstarting tunes with bombarding drums must be a summer vibe as Michael Kiwanuka’s eccentric indie tune, “You Ain’t The Problem” garners attention via the use of charismatic harmonies, a justifiable mood, and a contagious rhythm filled with simple chords and memorable lyrics.
“Hurt” – Oliver Tree: Kids, this is what we call a banger. The emerging indie superstar, Oliver Tree provides the smash of a hit that summer needed. With quite possibly one of the catchiest and grooviest choruses ever (in my lifetime), “Hurt” expresses the pain of giving too much, the unfortunate execution of hurting a loved one, and simply screwing up. Tree’s odd vocals create beautiful images as each verse builds the picture and the hook adds colors and textures throughout each phrase.
“The Next Best American Record” – Lana Del Rey: Subtly, Lana Del Rey continues to fill the whole music scene with easy-going vocals, wondrous harmonies, and gorgeous instrumental lines. “The Next Best American Record” features peaceful melodies, introspective lyrics, and an overall feeling of a late night summer breeze that sends chills down the spine.
“All Mirrors” – Angel Olsen: With a different approach to the indie genre, Angel Olsen proves her unconventional vocals to be impeccable for this low-key, indie hit. “All Mirrors” encapsulates the notion of mirrors surrounding the listener with its echoic chorus and explosive instrumentation. Be prepared to become hypnotized by the mesmerizing vocals and glorious orchestral lines.
“I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again” – Mura Masa, Clairo: Late summer nights become the ultimate chorus of glory and freedom with Mura Masa and Clairo’s indie smash. “I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again” features bizarre sounds, crunchy chords, and lyrics filled with certainty and relativity.
“Her Own Heart” – Hatchie: Sit back and relax as Hatchie takes the listener to another universe. With flowing vocals intertwined among breathy melodies and graceful interludes, “Her Own Heart” travels to another dimension while reminiscing and recollecting thoughts about the past and present.
“Circles” – Post Malone: The latest from Posty, himself, contains some the hit maker’s best work. This explicit-less tune truly creates circles around the listener as each chorus ignites this round and round sensation. “Circles” offers numerous opportunities for self-expression and reflection with clean and cushy hooks and a melody that will be stuck on repeat in one’s head for days.
“Outta my mind” – Monsune: Prince-esque? This 21-year-old Chinese-Canadian artist produces all of his music right in his bedroom and he does it with ease. This otherworldly, modern spin on the unrequited love song explores the depths of indie music. “Outta my mind” contains some real “in awe” moments by providing graceful textures, addicting melodies, and some of the best darn vocals ever. Keep this one on repeat.