Is there really a sound of summer? Yes, there definitely is.
If you missed our summer playlists filled with candy-sweet altpop & 80s bangers, make sure to check them out on our IG highlights. But as we’re easing into fall, the last long days of the year seem to be slipping through our fingers and nostalgia prematurely sets in. We’re in need of some two-part substance: records that A) are still upbeat enough for Saturday day-brews at the park and B) aren’t so summer that we’ll ditch them come September.
On that note (ba-dum-chhhh), we’ve rounded up our 3 fav records for right now. The ones that came out in early summer but didn’t feel like the exact right fit for the season. And while we feel like we neglected these records when they dropped, today is the exact perfect time to tune in and hit that repeat button.
Reviewed by Selena Rox | Los Angeles
Boy Harsher’s sophomore album Careful drives its audience from their present physical settings into a completely altered reality. When you close your eyes while these sounds flood your environment, you might find yourself in a dimly lit Berlin nightclub or perhaps you’ll wind up cruising down a deserted road from dusk ‘til dawn; hell, next thing you know you’re the protagonist in your mind’s own thrilling ‘80s stylized film, where you’ve set out to foil your adversary's wicked plans before it’s too late. Become the darkness, float through time and space with these simple yet dynamic beats accompanied by breathy ambient air which will bring you to a fresh cinematic reality. You’ll find comfort in the sonic textures of this dark, electropop experience. Matthews’ vocals guide you through this lonesome atmosphere while Muller’s synths and beats carry your body through the darkness.
The once maximalist maestro of Animal Collective, Noah Lennox aka Panda Bear, has taken a more minimalist approach on his fourth album, Buoys. From the first unfolding of Buoys the seasoned Animal Collective listener will notice a more organic mood blossoming from this new garden tended by Panda Bear.
The first few seconds of opening track “Dolphin” seem to turn down the noise of past projects and introduce a repetitive drop of water that ties the manipulated acoustic guitar closely together with Panda Bear’s newfound clarity of voice. A Panda Bear we’ve not seen before; standing alone with nothing that isn’t needed to let the track unfold as it should.
For those longing for the golden years of Animal Collective, dry your tears with “Token” and “Crescendo”. Sunny guitars and electronics reminiscent of Sung Tongs interwoven with vocal arrangements not unlike Panda Bear’s exquisite Person Pitch.
Buoys doesn't rush itself, the mood of the album flows from one atmosphere to another, exploring expansive textures that are at once fresh and new but familiar, belonging to the Animal Collective and Panda Bear families. Though Buoys is at once an ode to singularity, it is also the perfect companion to a freshly blossoming season.
Good things come to those who wait. That's the thought I arrived at after listening to the first solo album in almost five years from indie rock queen Jenny Lewis. On the Line dropped Mar. 22 via Warner Bros. and Lewis brought out the big guns for her studio band. Ringo Starr, Beck, Benmont Tench, Jim Keltner, and Don Was backed Lewis up on what might be her strongest solo effort to date. It's a piano-heavy record that captures the rawness of the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman's songwriting. "Heads Gonna Roll" is one of many standout tracks with a nostalgic rolling piano line that sets up the powerful chorus perfectly. The album feels like Lewis working through being single for the first time after a decade-plus long relationship with her former songwriting partner Johnathan Rice. Lewis once said wine and weed is all you need, and she managed to create an album that pairs wonderfully with both.