Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Songs of 2012

Maybe it's the vacation mindset or maybe it's the sunshine, but summer is a season that needs its own soundtrack. While my summer playlists tend to favor catchy pop songs, glam rock tunes, and laid-back reggae-esque numbers, a good summer song can be of any genre. In fact, the only real requirement for a summer song (for me at least) is that it complements certain seasonal experiences––sunshine, road-trips, beaches, backyard BBQs, warm summer night parties, etc. Each year, regardless of whether I actually experience any of these summertime things, I make a playlist to coincide with the season, featuring some old favorites and some new discoveries. And while I don't quite have room to share my entire 2012 playlist with you, it's only appropriate that I share a few of the newer songs I've added to this year's list, considering the theme of this blog. So, without further ado, here are five of my favorite summer songs of 2012:

1. Icona Pop ––  "I Love It"

Icona Pop's "I Love It" might be the perfect summer song. When I listen to it, I physically have to stop myself from jumping up and down and flailing my arms and legs wildly (in what others might call an attempt to dance). But, "I don't care, I love it." (I seriously can't think of another 5-word mantra that encapsulates the summertime attitude better than that.) If you put this song on your summertime playlist, beware. This incredibly infectious tune might stay on repeat for a while.

2. The Very Best –– "Kondaine" 

Very aptly described as "an Afro-Western mix of dance, hiphop, pop and the traditional music of Malawi" by WikipediaThe Very Best is a goldmine when it comes to summertime songs. When I saw them perform at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley not too long ago, they were so fun. The lead singer, Esau Mwamwaya, was so irresistibly energetic that by the end of the very first song, the entire crowd was dancing with abandon. "Kondaine" is a newer song of theirs that is worthy of any summertime playlist. If you like it, and you've have never heard of the band before, go check out "Warm Heart of Africa" featuring Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig.

3. Santigold –– "Disparate Youth"

With her eclectic sound and her penchant for making people move so crazily that they start dance parties, it's no surprise that Santigold routinely makes the cut for my summer playlists. I had songs from her debut album, Santogold, reappearing on my playlists for years before her new album, Master of My Make-Believe, came out. "Disparate Youth" is my newest obsession, and I'm so excited to have fresh track of hers to put on this year's list.

4. Bloc Party –– "Octopus"

At first listen, I wasn't sure that Bloc Party's new song "Octopus" was anything special. But after hearing it a few times, it stopped being just another indie-rock head-bobber and started becoming a song I couldn't stop singing along with (OoOoOoOo!). Seriously, its catchiness sneaks up on you. If you're craving an even poppier version of the song, check out RAC's remix.

5. Cults –– "Go Outside"

While this song isn't super new (the album came out in 2011, the song hit pitchfork in 2010), it has been one of the defining songs of summer 2012 for me, so I had to include it. Like many of the other songs in this list, "Go Outside" has got that melodic chorus that I have a hard time getting out of my head. But this track differs in that it evokes a less glamorous summertime experience for me: boredom. I think it's the song's daydreamy sound and its lyrics that make me think of summers as a kid when all I wanted to do was play in the sunshine, but for one reason or another was stuck inside. Anyways, this song makes a great addition to your playlist, even if it isn't the newest thing out there.

And, that about does it for my favorite new summer songs of 2012. Hope you found a track or two that you enjoyed!

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