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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer 2012 Playlist

1. Unbearable Why---Dr. Dog***      
        The kick-off to my notably delayed Summer 2012 Playlist (the heat's only getting started here in Portland, kids), UW is a piano-led ditty that blossoms into lovely harmonies that sound like mellow sunshine in your ears.
2. Asunder---Fang Island
        All right: no more sitting around. The lead single and best track off of FI's latest, Asunder is a celebration of rock 'n' roll rowdiness, drums pounding mercilessly, guitars jumping up and down in a sugar-fueled craze.
3. About to Die---Dirty Projectors
        Like the rest of Dirty Projectors' summer LP, About to Die finds a miraculous balance between the group's overt eccentricity, and cathcy-as-hell pop song craft.
4. Missing Pieces---Jack White***
         A bluesy, rocky sway squarely in the linage of White's best work with The White Stripes, tossed up into the stratosphere of awesomeness by the killer solos that make up its bridge.
5. Killer Dope---DJ Quik
         One of the most arrogant, unabashedly self-loving tracks in recent memory, Quik's tune grooves along on a smooth, summery beat, and concludes with one of the greatest shout-outs I've ever heard.
6. Monoliths---Lotus Plaza
         60's/70's rock, spruced up with all of the advantages of today, building into a glorious, cathartic tune that you never saw coming.
7. Wave Goodbye---Ty Segall Band***
        The biggest, filthiest, most epic punk track to grace my ears in all of 2012, Wave Goodbye is a positively sinister jam, becoming more expansive and more gnarly with each passing, ass-kicking second.
8. Mona Lisa---Atlas Sound
        And back down to miniature loveliness. Mona Lisa is a simple tune, wherein Bradford Cox refuses to ever raise his voice, but the song's glittering warmth cannot be denied.
9. (Druun)---DIIV
        An instrumental that serves both as a segue into the second half of the playlist, and smiling, nostalgic sound scape in which one could easily become lost.
10. The Mending of the Gown---Sunset Rubdown***
        Still the single bast song ever released by Spencer Krug's Sunset Rubdown outfit, Gown is relentlessly exuberant, flying through its semi-lengthy runtime on wings made of guitars and keyboards.
11. Heaven's on Fire---The Radio Dept.
        The Radio Dept. can be a bit polite for my taste, and while HOF probably says its please's and thank you's as well, its central piano melody is an ear worm that you won't mind having around in the least.
12. Muscle 'N Flo---Menomena***
        Menomena are at their best when they're at their most audacious, a fact that Muscle 'N Flo leaves no doubt about, throwing all manner of instrumentation into one monumental pop song.
13. It's Real---Real Estate
        From expansive and elaborate to small and intimate, It's Real is a tiny morsel of a tune that sounds about as much like Summer as music can, wonderful and inviting in every way imaginable.
14. Turn it Around---The Men
        The Men love nothing more than to rip right into it, and Open Your Heart opener Turn it Around does absolutely nothing to defy this trend. It's piss-and-vinager rocking out from first second to last.
15. Summer Holiday---Wild Nothing***
        If Summer Holiday had come out in the 80's, we'd probably all have it associated with some John Hughes movie which it inevitably soundtracked. As is, you'll have to make you own memories to this charming, glowing trip to yesteryear.
16. King of the Beach---Wavves
        Aaaaand back to rocking. KotB is a lively, sprinting pop-punk offering that can stand right next to the band's best, slamming on the gas while frontman Nathan Williams lays claim to the throne of sand.
17. World News---Local Natives
        The most warm-weather track on an album chuck-full of them, WN soars on the elating vocal harmonies that helped the band make its name, packaged with some pretty sublime axe-work to boot.
18. Rapping 2 U---Das Racist
        Rapping is 4:41 in length, only a matter of seconds deprived of sensational flow. The track possesses only three verses, but each is so terrific, you feel like you've had a whole hip hop meal by the time you're done.
19. Default---Django Django
        A barn-burner of a pop rock song, set to an irrepressible stomp, powered further by some of the most unique vocal pairings of 2012.
20. Meet Me in the Basement---Broken Social Scene***
        My Summer Playlist isn't looking to go down without a fight, which is why it places rock-until-the-walls-start-to-crumble instrumental Meet Me in the Basement, a rambunctious riot that's best heard at full-blast.

***Artist Pictured

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