Right around this time last year, we rounded up the contenders for the Song of Summer 2012. I’m pretty proud of our picks–“Call Me Maybe” and “We Are Young” were certainly the ubiquitous radio darlings we thought they’d be, and my actual pick, “I Love It” by Icona Pop, which didn’t get much attention last summer but gained steam thanks to placement in an episode of GIRLS and in several movie trailers, is now being mentioned as a potential Song of Summer for THIS year. How’s that for prescient?
Rather than play a 2013 version of this game–I mean it’s going to be “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, right?–I thought it might be more fun to share with you a few new songs that have really piqued my interest lately. I’ve been putting together my annual summer vacation pool/beach mix and have come across some really stunning new tracks I wanted to share. Each of them has a piece of summer in them, though not necessarily the “roll the windows down and sing at the top of your lungs” that most actual Songs of Summer tend to express. But summer is so much more than that! Sometimes it’s laying by the pool and reading a good book, sometimes it’s sweating in a crowded restaurant with your best friends or family, and sometimes it’s watching an evening baseball game in your air conditioned living room. These are the songs for those moments.
“Sonsick,” San Fermin
San Fermin is the work of Brooklyn composer and songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone. He studied music composition at Yale and is currently assistant to Nico Muhly. Apparently he’s written arrangements for Sufjan. His first single, released in advance of his September 17th debut album, features the voices of Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe, the Lucius ladies, and I can’t stop listening to it. It’s a pop song, for sure, but it feels more carefully and richly constructed–it has shades of Dirty Projectors and St. Vincent–but it has something all its own. I am so excited to hear more from this group.
HOW have I not talked about Lorde on this blog yet? She’s an amazingly talented 16-year-old girl who writes, performs, and produces her own music, all while going to a prep school in New Zealand. She’s at once wise beyond her years and refresshingly young and earnest. And “We’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams” is just such a great line, I find myself humming it out of nowhere.
“Byegone,” Volcano Choir
Volcano Choir is a collaboration between Justin Vernon (he of mountain man and Bon Iver fame) and Collections of Colonies of Bees. They just released the first single off their new album Repave, set to release on September 3rd. It’s my favorite song from them yet–it has a touch of Explosions in the Sky to it, and that is a good thing to have. You feel like something is going to happen to this music.
“Goodbye” (Paul McCartney cover), Lucius
We have mentioned Lucius here plenty of times before, but I came across this cover yesterday, in honor of Paul McCartney’s birthday, and since I’m still not-so-patiently waiting for Lucius’ debut album, this has helped to tide me over until its fall release.
“The One That Got Away,” The Civil Wars
I think there’s another post coming on this song. Just look at those zoom shots on their wedding rings. How is this song NOT autobiographical? And how are their respective spouses okay with this?!? It is just too much. But I’m thankful to have anything new from The Civil Wars, and as uncomfortable as its content makes me, they’re still doing what they do better than just about anybody who’s ever done it before.