Summer break in college feels lavishly long. Having gone almost seventeen full weeks without a classroom (unless you subject yourself to summer school, in which case I commend you), it will certainly take some time to transition back into university life at the end of August. Instead of thinking about the inevitable school year, put on a few of the following tracks from the past several months and try to squeeze out the last drops of summer:
Hinds — “Chili Town”
Hinds, formerly known as Deers, has gained considerable momentum from blogs and critics, having several mini-tours and festivals under their belt. The Spanish quartet hasn’t released their debut album yet, but with each demo and single they continue to prove that they’re the next big thing. With a heavy helping of surf-garage jangle and a dose of girl-power fun, Hinds’ latest track “Chili Town” is a perfect taste of simple, sunny rock.
Roosevelt — “Hold On”
Roosevelt has been making groovy music that feels destined to break through to the mainstream for several years on the excellent electronic label, Greco Roman. Yes, this song may sound like it’s destined for a car commercial or to be played in your local H&M (although I did hear “Hey QT” there one time, so obviously someone knows what’s up). Nonetheless, it’s infectiously catchy and easy to vibe to, perfect for any end-of-summer occasion that requires a little fun.
Ducktails — “Surreal Exposure”
Matt Mondanile is the guitarist for Real Estate, and has done consistently well as a solo act under the name Ducktails. In both projects, Mondanile is an expert when it comes to light, sun-faded guitar rock that evokes the warmth of summer. His latest album St. Catherine sees him branch out somewhat while still sticking to what he does best, which stands out on the track “Surreal Exposure.” An upbeat song that seems to incorporate some classical flourishes, this one is great for conveniently forgetting the passage of time and that summer is running out.
Jamie XX — “The Rest is Noise”
After rave reviews and plenty of hype, Jamie XX released his debut album this summer to even more critical acclaim and buzz. Although some find him derivative (and I would agree to an extent), Jamie XX uniquely translates the history of British electronic music for a 2015 audience. The album is surprisingly quiet in many places, and this track was my favorite—more of a wind-down than a crowd pleaser.
Waxahatchee — “Summer of Love”
Although this song came out in January, it has “summer” in the title, so it clearly belongs here. Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield sticks to acoustic sounds and her voice seems earnest and naïve as she sings about her version of the summer of love. A short track that feels sweetly profound, this one is meant for reminiscing about the season over “a photo of us.”
Domenique Dumont — “Un Jour Avec Yusef”
Domenique Dumont is one of the more mysterious and under-the-radar phenomena this summer. Apparently a producer from Paris about whom little is known, Dumont captures the imagination with funky tropical-tinged electronic music. The mystery surrounding Dumont seems appropriate, as this album could be the soundtrack for cutting through a steamy jungle near the equator in search of a hidden city devoted to cool music. The label describes it as “dreamy music for warm summer nights,” and I couldn’t agree more.
There were quite a few good releases this summer, hopefully enough to carry the world through the next few months without having to play “Trap Queen” ever again. Even more exciting releases are slated for the fall, so stay tuned as the school year winds up.