During a Summer so hot I think I actually did melt, these are the songs that provided a backdrop to both the blazing sun and the cool shade. You can listen to the playlist on Spotify and scroll down to learn a little more about each of the tracks.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Green Bay, Wisconsin
The plaid boys of Boston are back! I remember a time when I never thought there’d be another Bosstones record, so every time we get one it’s always a big deal and I can’t think of a better time for one to drop than the middle of Summer. This is the opening track from the new record, While We’re At It.
Bedouin Soundclash – Salt-Water
The three singles that Bedouin Soundclash have released in the past year or so have all been great. It’s unclear whether these will feature on the next album (and currently no confirmation when this is due), but they mark a welcome return following a break in new material since 2010’s sublime Light The Horizon.
The Go! Team – If There’s One Thing You Should Know
I’ve been aware of The Go! Team for years, yet didn’t (knowingly) hear any of their music until earlier this year when BBC 6 Music had May Day, the lead single from their new album on regular rotation. The track piqued my curiosity and I bought the album. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more joyous, kaleidoscopic sound in my life.
Charli XCX – No Angel
Charlotte Aitchison is an enigma. She has huge top 10 singles that you can’t escape for months and in between that, a string of low key releases that are arguably stronger than her chart hits which barely see the light of day. I’m not sure where this track sits in the mix, it dropped out of the blue in June as double A side (with Focus).
The 1975 – Give Yourself A Try
This fuzzy debut single from the first of two upcoming albums is everything you’ve come to expect from The 1975, a little deliberately weird, a little unashamedly pretentious. It’s exactly what I’ve liked about them to date and the two tracks that have followed since this continue in a similar vein.
Ash – Confessions In The Pool
On a first listen there wasn’t much that stood out on Ash’s new album Islands as being as good as the fantastic lead single Buzzkill. After a few more listens I have some firm favourites, including this one.
Death Cab For Cutie – Gold Rush
As much as I’m looking forward to having a new Death Cab record for the later half of 2018, this single wasn’t too out of place for a Summer release. Something about it reminds me of both George Michael’s Freedom and Happy Monday’s Step On. Have a listen and tell me if I’m crazy.
Third Eye Blind – Joke
This is the second track to be aired from the band’s upcoming covers album. I’d never heard the original by Chastity Belt so to me it’s as good as being an entirely new Third Eye Blind song.
MxPx – Let’s Ride
I feel like MxPx is experiencing something of a renaissance. Fans of the genre still dissatisfied with Blink 182’s attempts to be Blink 182 can perhaps find something they’re longing for here. Mike Herrera has a well earned credibility for his years spent honing this sound.
Justin Courtney Pierre – In The Drink
I love this. And I’m so glad I do. The first preview of what’s to come from Justin post Motion City Soundtrack under his own name (also check out The Rapture Twins). This is quick and to the point. It’s gets me excited in the way Attractive Today did as the opener for Commit This To Memory.
The Get Up Kids – Maybe
I was never a fan of The Get Up Kids during their early 2000’s prime. For some reason I got onboard for their comeback EP and album in the early 2010’s. Now we’re fast approaching the early 2020’s and the band is back again with a new EP, Kicker.
The Hold Steady – Star 18
It doesn’t look like we’re getting a full length anytime soon but I’ll settle for more in this series of double A sides. So far there’s been something to represent each era of the band, on this track I’m hearing moments that call back to their most recent album Teeth Dreams, with added Franz Nicolay.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly – Try
A standalone track which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Sam’s Young Adult album released earlier this year (his first since returning to the ‘Get Cape’ moniker). It got lost in the noise when it surfaced online a few months back so I’m including it instead of a track from the album.
All Saints – Three Four
I haven’t got round to listening to the new All Saints record yet, but 2016’s Red Flag was a surprise hit for me and I like what I’m hearing of the follow up so far. All credit to Shaznay Lewis who is listed as lead songwriter on each of the tracks.
Iggy Azalea – Tokyo Snow Trip
The wild card, on this playlist at least. If you like it, the rest of the EP Survive The Summer has a similar vibe and is worth checking out. It seems as if Iggy has had a few misfires in terms of chart success since The New Classic. I’m still onboard though and maybe there’s something here that will lead us into an eventual full length release.
Brian Fallon – If Your Prayers Don’t Get To Heaven
For whatever reason neither of Brian’s solo records have quite landed with me. That said, there’s been a few standout tracks on each which are as good as any of The Gaslight Anthem’s best material (even if they do borrow a little from these). This track is perhaps the best representation of the Motown influence on the Sleepwalkers record.
Eagle-Eye Cherry – Save Tonight (2018 Rendition)
I think Eagle-Eye has earned the right to release the same song again. In my opinion (and a club full of people in Lithuania, where I randomly heard it played in 2014) the original still stands up twenty years later. This reimagining sounds like a quiet, reflective moment and I, of course, welcomed the opportunity to remember where I was in 1998 for a few minutes.
Frank Turner – Common Ground
This is possibly my favourite track from a record in which Frank runs in a variety of different directions and only just manages to sound cohesive. I’m still unsure whether Be More Kind will be remembered as an album or a collection of songs (there is a difference). For all that can be said, it is at least an attempt to differentiate from earlier material.
CHVRCHES – Deliverance
It’s a lot of pressure to be my favourite album of the year before I’ve even heard it. This is what CHVRCHES had to contend with. It’s early days but they might have done it. I’ve got a couple of favourite tracks, at the moment it’s this one. Tomorrow it could very possibly be Heaven/Hell again.
Weezer – Africa
The number of Africa related videos / memes / content that I get tagged in or sent by friends would suggest I’ve done something in my life to become synonymous with this song. Amazingly, not one person sent me this contender for unexpected cover of the year. I like it, it’s fine.