Summer Missed

If you need to squeeze out a few more weeks of your summer playlist, here are some more songs to dance to. Or cry to. Or both.,,,,,

Christian Davis, Writer

EL VY  — Return to the Moon (Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, with Crescendo)

The National was never really a band you could dance to, unless you had tears in your eyes and were silently swaying in the back row of their live show while simultaneously mourning the loss of your youth — if you can really call that dancing. EL VY, a brand new project from The National’s Matt Berninger and Menomana’s Brent Knopf, somehow blends lead vocalist Berninger’s innate melancholy with comforting pop hooks and danceable high-hat. A friend told me Berninger has a way of finding melodies that are instantaneously familiar, the very thing making this single unforgettable. Berninger has gone from that friend you could totally cry with to one that you could, albeit somewhat awkwardly, dance with.

Tearjerker — Stay Wild

All you need to know about Tearjerker is that they are from Toronto, and they channel the same sort of wonderful energy Canadian legends Broken Social Scene did on their landmark second record “You Forgot It In People”. There must be something in the water up there, as the first track on Tearjerker’s debut opens up a record with a ton of substance. Stay Wild is a rolling trip through summer nights, with an unashamedly emotive guitar tone. “We won’t change / we’ll stay wild,” are the words floating around the end of the verses, and all of me really hopes Tearjerker lives up to that promise.

Palehound — Molly

All Palehound needed to get my attention was a recommendation from absolute indie-rock legend Sadie DuPuis from Speedy Ortiz. In all honesty though, Ellen Kempner’s debut full-length does not need anyone to hype it up — “Dry Food” showcases Kempner’s mastery of her craft. Quick, tight songwriting shows up throughout, and album opener “Molly” gets the ball rolling right. Something about the intersecting guitar lines totally brings to mind palm trees and summer camp, or maybe it comes from the fact that Sadie DuPuis actually met Kempner during a stint as a camp counselor. “Dry Food” is sure to crack year end lists for 2015’s finest indie-rock, and deservedly so.

Wavves / Cloud Nothings — Come Down

My grandma remembers exactly where she was when we landed on the moon. I remember exactly where I was when I saw the tweet that Wavves and Cloud Nothings were working on an album together. I honestly thought it was a practical joke, and a collaboration between my two favorite fuzzed-out garage gods could not ever become a reality. Sure enough, “Come Down” is evidence the album happened, and it was good. Very good. It is arguably one of catchiest hooks I have heard in either band’s catalogue, so it adds up to garage-pop gold. All that is left are my crossed fingers for a co-headlining tour.

Neon Indian — Slumlord

At a festival a few weeks ago I made the split second decision to go see Neon Indian by myself, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of my weekend. Truth be told, I was trying to relive the high school glory days before I realized what a total joke the word “chillwave” was, but thankfully Neon Indian has evolved into a full on pop tour-de-force. “Slumlord” perfectly exemplifies the congruence Alan Palomo achieves when he trades in a singular drum machine for an acoustic kit and bongos. This track breathes nightlife, with bass-lines that would have sounded at home on Daft Punk’s last masterpiece, and intricate harmonies providing the platform for Palomo’s nearly seductive melodies. Not to mention that somehow, albeit miraculously, the tucked in t-shirt and blazer combo works so much better for Palomo than it ever did for Rick Astley.

Majical Cloudz  — Silver Car Crash

Summer playlists often present this fallacy that everything will always be okay, and everyone is happy simply because it is above 85 degrees outside. This has always sort of driven me crazy, and I feel like some of the most heartbreaking music fits into those lonely summer nights when your friends “just happened to forget” to invite you to that party. I mean Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” was a hit for a reason. Anyways, “Silver Car Crash” exudes this kind of warmth that comes naturally with a song about the relationship between love and death. The first glimpse of the Canadian duo’s new record comes in the form of a romantic odyssey taking place in a crashing car, and in just three chords they’ve unseated The Smith’s “There is a Light That Will Never Go Out” for best song ever written about dying in a car.  


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