I always feel that there’s a certain mood which comes with the end of summer. The evenings are still long; although getting shorter; and the nights are still almost as hot as the days. Perfect weather to sit outside and try to avoid the moths, wasps and mosquitos which will invariably seek to get a taste of your drink.
Additionally, there’s always a sound which goes with it – that undefinable genre called ‘summer’. But it’s more streamlined than that; you know when you hear a song which you just want to close your eyes and soak in the chilled vibes of August; the last snatches of relaxation before September comes along with its grey harshness of work, and autumn comes along hot on its tail. These are the songs which I’ve been vibing with over the past few weeks, but more so with that particular feeling in the air. I hope you enjoy them too: there’s something here for everyone – and there is a playlist at the bottom of the post containing all of the tracks I mention 🙂
SG Lewis feat. Robyn & Channel Tres – Impact
This one could be the collab of the summer, and certainly not one I was ever expecting to happen. SG Lewis has been making a name for himself by releasing chilled-out synth-heavy sounds and collaborating with some of the most underrated names in the business, most notably Clairo, AlunaGeorge and Dot Major. Robyn needs no introduction, and is certainly no stranger to the term alternative – she fits perfectly with Channel Tres’ authoritative-but-soothing voice. In an interview, she said that she wrote the chorus to this track as soon as she received it; she clearly understood the vibe of the song. “Eyes closed while I ride the wave” Channel instructs us – close your eyes and let the warmth of the Impact consume you; that’s the best way to listen to it.
Tinashe, ZHU, Ms Banks – Die A Little Bit (Remix)
Summer always seems to push me towards the relaxed tones of R&B, a genre in which Tinashe is one of the biggest names. She’s another artist who I keep meaning to get into. ‘Die A Little Bit’ first appeared on Tinashe’s 2019 album ‘Songs For You’, but here has been given a subtle facelift by American producer ZHU, who adds his signature beat, a catchy piano and bassline. You might know him from his 2014 hit ‘Faded’. Ms Banks also has a wonderful verse and her voice matches with Tinashe’s brilliantly. This song also inspired me to listen to the album on which the original appeared: it’s a really good listen!
Flume, London Grammar – Let You Know
A slightly left-field collab from 2019, Flume has had multiple hits as a DJ/Producer with artists such as Tove Lo and Kai – while London Grammar are known for quieter ballads identifiable by lead vocalist Hannah Reid’s voice. Until last week this was the last we heard from London Grammar – somehow, both artist’s styles converge and create something of pure beauty. Despite lyrically being about a break up, it sounds uplifting and fills me with a warmth which may not always be present every night (it can get quite cold at the moment lmao).
Gorgon City, Lulu James – Love Me
This house track has been one of my favourites for a couple of years now, since it appeared on Gorgon City’s 2018 album ‘Escape’. I can’t explain it, but this song, featuring Lulu James’ stunning vocals, makes me want to dance around a campfire in a desert. After a couple of listens, it’s impossible not to be singing along – and although it may be slightly longer than it ought to be, it’s carefree attitude means you’re perfectly happy for it to last four minutes.
Allie X – Casanova
I need to get into more Allie X – the Canadian indie pop artist has been recommended to me on about a million occasions and so far I’ve never managed more than 2020’s ‘Susie Save Your Love’ with Mitski and this song, found on 2017’s ‘CollXtion II’. It’s funky bassline is worthy of a shuffle, while the melody is memorable. Chill summer vibes? Definitely, but this time make it a forest.
Aluna – Body Pump
‘Body Pump’ is the lead single from Aluna’s (of AlunaGeorge) upcoming debut solo project, ‘Renaissance’, released this Friday, August 28th, at the same time as apparently every other artist in the world. It’s hard to put this track in a box – in the incredible outro, she repeatedly tells us ‘I’m tryna be different, don’t try to make me feel ashamed’. In essence, it’s about to having a good time and a party, which might not be the deepest meaning in the world but it’s what we could all do with. It also proves that she is a brilliant solo artist and I’m very excited for her new album.
ARTY, Conrad Sewell – Kingdom
Another chill house track? Yep. You might recognise the name Conrad Sewell from Kygo’s breakout hit ‘Firestone’, which you couldn’t possibly escape in 2015. ARTY is a Russian DJ who hasn’t completely managed to break through into the mainstream market as of yet – but has a collection of wonderful tracks which deserve success. ‘Kingdom’ manages to combine more acoustic, folk vibes with a chorus reminiscent of Swedish House Mafia and Avicii back in the early 2010s. It’s just got an all round pleasant vibe, and with Conrad’s great voice, you’ll be dancing about in no time to this feel-good track.
The Snuts – Summer In The City
When I was watching Coronation Street a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t expecting to be confronted with a Strongbow advert playing an updated cover of ‘Summer In The City’, a 1966 hit from the Lovin’ Spoonful – and for it to be actually good. As you wouldn’t immediately expect from the title, it has country field energy, long afternoons and nights just lying around drinking cider – I promise, this post isn’t sponsored by Strongbow! – and is just all about having a whale of a time. It also stays faithful to the original with a guitar solo near the end. The Snuts are a band on the edge of making a big breakthrough – check them out!
Sam Fender – That Sound
A Britpop-esque track about how negativity and jealousy can try and bring you down, even when you’re doing great might not seem to be a track you would instantly associate with late summer, but it somehow manages to do the job for me. Maybe I’ve just become obsessed with his 2019 album ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ at the right time, but it manages to combine a nostalgic tone with a modern flourish which prevents it from sounding dated. And it’s another one where I can only see a bale of hay when I listen – weird, huh?
George Ezra – Sugarcoat
No August playlist would be complete without Mr Summer himself, George Ezra – purely because he was EVERYWHERE during 2018’s heatwave. Maybe I just associate the two, but Sugarcoat is a song which you can vibe with even just lying down somewhere while being cooked and melted by the sun. Rather like seemingly every song of his, the main theme revolves around travel and holidays – this time in South Africa. The only difference is he spent more time looking at his girlfriend than the local sights! It should be illegal and close to impossible to be sad when George Ezra is playing: just let his acoustic guitar and deep voice wash over you. See also: his 2018 album ‘Staying at Tamara’s’.