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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hype Starts Here's Summer 2015 Playlist

       Hello, and welcome to Hype Starts Here's 2015 Summer Playlist, a 40-pack of tracks eager to score your neighborhood barbecue or late night house party. Because I am apparently stuck in the year 2005, the songs here have assembled as a double-disc, each made to fit on an old-fashioned blank CD (see: >80 minutes). Brief descriptions of each tune can be found below, while the Spotify playlist is just a click away. Enjoy:

Disc 1:
1. Excuses---The Morning Benders
         That's right, I'm starting yet another Summer Playlist with Excuses. I've perhaps been excessive in my praise of this glorious, sun-soaked anthem, but my priorities are in the right place; I want EVERYONE to hear this song

2. Idle Delilah---Azealia Banks***
        A warm, breezy R&B track that manages to squeeze in Bank's irrefutable skills as a rapper in a loose, free-flowing manner.

3. If You Didn't See Me (Then You Weren't On The Dancefloor)---Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
        Don't let Dancefloor's subtle opening trick you; this is a big, blissful dollop of dance pop goodness, powered by tidal waves of synth.

4. Jackie and Wilson---Hozier
        Turns out there's more to Hozier than wrought despair; J&W is a down-home jam powered by the man's signature croon, and a massive chorus.

5. Ohio---Justice
        Ohio makes you wait for it, setting the stage with warped, echoing vocals before unfurling into a trippy, undulating anthem.

6. Lovers Carvings---Bibio
        Time to take it down a notch; LC is the prized jewel of Bibio's career, a beautiful, ruminating two-parter completely soaked in sunshine and contentment.

7. Don't Wanna Lose---Ex Hex
        Zippy pop punk that wastes no time in getting down to business, Don't Wanna Lose is a two-and-a-half minute blast that's over in the blink of an eye.

8. Jam---A Tribe Called Quest***
        Pratically any Tribe song could fit on a Summer Playlist, but Jam is a party song in the most literal sense, chronicling a night out on the town over a silky smooth beat.

9. 11th Dimension---Julian Casablancas
        This is artifice of the very best kind, a glittering wall of electronica more than capable of taking over the room.

10. Flashed Junk Mind---Milky Chance
        Simple, subtle, and radiating with warmth, FJM is a modest morsel of comfort and nostalgia.

11. Monoliths---Lotus Plaza
        You don't exactly name a song Monoliths if you're not aiming for something big; this Lotus Plaza track won't stop getting bigger and more enveloping, slowly ascending to the heavens.

12. I'm Not Part Of Me---Cloud Nothings
        A steady churning surf rock wonder with a seemingly inexhaustible store of killer hooks stuffed into its four-and-a-half minutes of existence

13. Whorehouse---ceo***
        A kaleidoscopic cacophony of colors, sounds, and motion, Whorehouse is a pop song for maniacs, as jaunty as it is bizarre.

14. 400 Lux---Lorde
        Taking it down several notches, 400 Lux is a sweet, sumptuous ditty that wraps itself all around you without lifting its voice beyond a whisper.

15. Work---Gang Starr***
        I can think of no better way to bring the party back than one of the best beats of DJ Premier's storied carrier, gliding along underneath Guru's braggadocio flow.

16. I'm Always In Love---Wilco
        Wilco is no stranger to grandstanding sing-a-longs, and Love stands among their best, a mid-june jam replete with joyful bombast.

17. Breakers---Local Natives
        From one high-flying chorus to another, Breakers is downright colossal, its rolling drums and irrepressible chants combining into an oceanic expanse.

18. The Soundmaker---Rodrigo y Gabriela
        Just two people slamming away at their acoustic guitars, RodGab slam on the gas from first moment to last, their intertwining axe-work never lass than mesmerizing.

19. It All Feels Right---Washed Out
        We close out Disc One with It All Feels Right, a down-tempo paradise that's hugs ears in the most sincere of embraces.

Disc 2:
1. Huarache Lights---Hot Chip
        Like most everything Hot Chip, HL is a captivating oddball, a dancefloor-bound paean that grows into the best kind of frenzy.

2. Byebye, Big Ocean---A Sunny Day in Glasgow
        A gargantuan shoe gaze epic with layers upon layers of radiant sounds for earbuds to parcel through.

3. King Kunta---Kendrick Lamar***
        The most straight-forward track from Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, Kunta is a leering march and a funky show-stopper rolled into one.

4. Brill Bruisers---The New Pornographers
        Yet another gigantic chorus, because really, isn't that what summer pop songs are all about? BB simply towers, its pastel enormity proving impossible to resist.

5. Evil Eye---Franz Ferdinand***
        Stomping and screaming its way into existence, Evil Eye is as tightly packed as they come, an angular, arresting jam that puts bodies in motion.

6. Turn Around---Mikal Cronin
        Cronin is a disciple of all things gorgeous, packing this four-minute wonder with drums, guitars, violins, and piano that combine into an awfully lovely cocktail.

7. Collard Greens---Schoolboy Q feat. Kendrick Lamar
        A sophomoric house party anthem for the ages, CG gets down and dirty with Q's sordid wordplay, and Lamar's boastful brilliance.

8. Big Decisions---My Morning Jacket
        The banner-carrier from MMJ's 2015 comeback album, The Waterfall, BD is prodigious crowd pleaser tinged with a country-sounding slide guitar.

9. Chateau Lobby 4 (in C for Two Virgins)---Father John Misty***
        Perhaps the most loving song about shared hatred ever written, Chateau is a dazzlingly warm ode to love with a cabinet full of vinegar.

10. Freaky---The Men
        The Men are at their best when they're in full rock-on mode, and Freaky is proof, chugging along on a mammoth riff, and riding off into the sunset.

11. Mind Playing Tricks on Me---Geto Boys***
        Has there ever been a beat less suited for the chosen lyrics? Scarface and friends might be giving into paranoia and hallucinations, but their backing is a buttery as can be.

12. Witness---Will Butler
        A playful number complete with call-and-response vocals and a tempo that refuses to lower the MPH for anything.

13. The Rest is Noise---Jamie XX
        A smaller moment from Jamie XX's brilliant In Colour, this elegant instrumental conveys a myriad of emotions without a single word.

14. Shine Blockas---Big Boi feat. Gucci Mane***
        Quite possibly Big Boi's single greatest moment outside of his Outkast career, SB is a soulful joint stuffed to the brim with swagger. Gucci Mane has never been better.

15. Robson Girl---Mac Demarco
        Slacker guitar pop doesn't get much smoother than this, Demarco's effortless croon wafting above one of the niftiest guitar riffs you'll ever hear.

16. Lost Queen---Pharrell***
        Happy might have taken over the world about a year and a half ago, but LQ stands as my personal favorite cut from 2014's G I R L, sexy, playful and romantic all at once.

17. Until We Can't (Let's Go)---Passion Pit
        Passion Pit is often at their best when at their most cosmically large, a fact that Let's Go makes evident with its swelling verses, and towering chorus.

18. It Ain't Hard To Tell---Nas***
        The closer to the greatest hip hop album of all time, Hard to Tell is the sound of dropping the mic in triumph, a pulse-quickening beat drenched in the lyrical genius that's typical of Illmatic.

19. Supersymmetry---Arcade Fire
        The ravishing closer on Arcade Fire's Reflektor serves the same purpose here; wrapping us up in its warm, graceful arms before bidding us farewell.

Bonus Tracks (AKA Stuff That's Not on Spotify):
1. The Front---Kool A.D. Feat. Toro y Moi & Amaze 88***
        Some beat makers can't quite mellow out all the way down to Kool A.D.'s level, but Toro y Moi groovy track fits him like a glove. Bonus points for Amaze 88's slippery closing verse.

2. Sunday Candy---Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment
        The show-stopping penultimate track from Donnie and the gang's 2015 effort Surf, SC is the sound of deeply felt happiness and love, invading headphones with rousing joy.

***=Contains Explicit Language

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