(Photo credit: Hannah Caffrey)
Returning home for the summer is a welcome breather from the constant vodka-drenched deadlines and drama of university because everyone back home has been plodding along in their lives, without a thought or care as to why your mate Bradley tried to fight a bouncer on a Wednesday evening. What they do want to know though, is all the cool shit you now know from being exposed to all sorts of intelligent people from different cultural backgrounds.
Studying Music Journalism has its positives and negatives (somebody please pay me soon), but one thing that comes in handy back home is a vast musical knowledge – as soon as I touched down and met up with friends, I was bombarded with requests to impart musical wisdom unto their plebeian brains.
A recurring request was “give me some chill shit for the summer”, and I know for a lot of people it’s about listening to songs that they feel cool listening to, but also stuff that will make other people take off their fake Ray-Bans and say, “wow, that person is very cool for listening to those songs!”
So here is Part 1 of the ABSOLUTE and DEFINITIVE playlist that will definitely 100% make you feel, look and appear cool, even if you’re a jobless, Pokémon-playing waste of space like me.
Beach House – Lazuli
This opens with some rad Final Fantasy VI synths, and everyone knows video games are cool, especially retro ones. The genre often referred to as dream pop is pretty much summer.mp3, so this inclusion is absolutely essential.
Don’t let the ‘pop’ part put you off, pop music is cool now because it discovered hip hop and sub-bass.
Best Coast – Boyfriend
Vocalist/guitarist Beth Cosentino has an adorable cat called Snacks who has his own Twitter profile. If you’ve been on the Internet machine, chances are you know cats are cool. The song has that hazy summer, teen romance vibe to it, and nostalgia is also very in right now.
Blood Orange – Chamakay
Dev Hynes never stopped being awesome. He was part of Test Icicles which happens to be the best band name ever, and his second project Lightspeed Champion was named after a superhero comic strip he drew in maths classes. Now under the moniker Blood Orange, he’s making breathy, impassioned RnB with choruses that will kick your heart right out your mouth.
Bonobo – Kiara
Imagine in ten years, you’re asked why you named your daughter Kiara.
“Ah maaan, funny you should ask that. One sunny day in July, me and my partner were talking about how complex life can be, with all its struggles and sorrow. Then we gazed in each other’s eyes and realised how none of that mattered, because we’d always have each other. The song that was softly seeping through the speakers at the time was called Kiara.”
[Friend descends into uncontrollable sobbing]
Broken Bells – Holding On For Life
James Mercer is from The Shins, a go-to band for anyone trying to impress others with music taste. He’s teamed up with Danger Mouse, who has worked with a who’s who of hip artists, including the elusive rapper DOOM and everybody’s favourite cartoon band Gorillaz.
The end product is Broken Bells. Listen to that bass line. Listen to that falsetto. Listen to this and feel like you know something about music.
Caribou – Odessa
You might know this one, it was on FIFA 11! What you might not know is that Dan Snaith is loved by hipsters and that weirdo band Radiohead. Minimal techno and deep house influences are proudly displayed on Odessa, and it came out in 2010, so you can pretend you were listening to house before everyone else (don’t worry, everyone else is lying about it).
Chad Valley – Now That I’m Real
CHILLWAVE. THAT’S THE GENRE. NOTHING IS MORE COOL AND SUMMERY THAN CHILLWAVE.
You should do a bit of extra research on chillwave to get an extra step ahead in the summer music game (go on last.fm, use the search bar, make musical gains).
Chet Faker – Talk Is Cheap
Australian guy with a beard singing about making love. Yeah.
Childish Gambino – III. Telegraph Ave. (“Oakland” by Lloyd)
The whitest black dude since Michael Jackson can sing, rap, act, do stand up and he’s fucking class at all of it. No one can question his authenticity, and no one will question yours because this is a tight-ass track.
Clams Casino – I’m God
Remember that song that was like, “MMM WHATCHA SAAAAY”? Well Clammy Clams (it’s okay to call him that) has sampled the same vocalist to get that heavenly rush of endorphins into your ears. If you’re feeling particularly based and want to hear someone go over this, Lil B The BasedGod is the only option. Trust me, he’s the coolest guy on the Internet.
Earl Sweatshirt – Sunday ft. Frank Ocean
Odd Future fans are the worst, but the actual members are chill as fuck. This track by (Best Rapper Alive) Earl Sweatshirt features Frank Ocean, and they both have killer verses over three and half minutes.
Falside – Drowsy
You already know it’s appropriate for getting mellow to in the summer breeze because it’s called Drowsy. Falside is a relatively unknown producer too, so give yourself extra hip-n-happenin’ points for listening.
Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings
The former Fleet Foxes drummer fancies himself a ladies man. He probably fancies himself too, because that “JEE-EE-EE-EE-EESUS CHRIIIST, GIRRL” is irresistible. If you want to be strutting your stuff and impressing the pants off people this summer, this is the song to soundtrack your attempts.
That’s all for now because your pleb brains won’t be able to handle too much more, but keep an eye out for Part 2 because we’ll be dropping within the next few days – it includes cigarettes, a French house banger and water park-based raps!