For this summer, I wanted songs with more vibe, and with a more relaxing feel attached. While last year's playlist included songs with a more upbeat air, the majority of this year's songs are ones for relaxing on the beach or by the pool, something that's simply "chill." This playlist has been a long time coming; please enjoy!
1. "Dreamer - Stripped Down" by Kaptan, Mokita
To start off this list, Kaptan, featuring Mokita, tells the story of a daydreamer who wishes to escape a less than ideal reality. Here, I believe they are telling their subject that dreaming their life away is not the answer to solving life's difficulties; their dreams must be taken one step further.
"Motionless in the moment, waiting to be found / Watching every day pass you by / ... Time is never wasted on you / ...You've so much left to lose / Dream—dream—dreamer / You gotta take a bit, take a bit deeper"
2. "Tidal Wave" by Snowmine
Snowmine, mimicking the tumbling of a tidal wave, parallels the lyrics to tell the tale of a sudden romance. All at once, this lover came and events gained speed; everything transpires when these two meet. Snowmine is able to accurately capture the feel of suddenly meeting someone who changes worlds, who fits exactly what was being searched for, for so long.
3. "Reach It All" by Brothertiger
A hopeful song about persistence in the face of defeat, Brothertiger writes with honest encouragement. With simple, short lines, they remind their subject to keep the goal in sight, that one day, hopes and plans will be met and reached.
4. "Swim Against the Tide" by The Japanese House
A personal favorite, The Japanese House, otherwise known as Amber Bain, uses experimental sound and lyrical excellence to tell of life experiences and their role in shaping her. This particular song laments of a relationship past, one that Bain knew may end in disaster. And still, she thinks of it often, wondering what had caused the break in the first place.
"Hold me up high for a while / You always said I'd learn to cry, and you were right
And I wept through your hold of the night / ... Sit back and open wide / Let me see you're dead inside / It's so hard to swim against the tide"
5. "Another Day" by Carousel
Carousel, featuring Day Wave's Jackson Phillips, sweetly writes on the feelings of first falling in love. The song takes the listener through the steps of developing a crush on someone, and all of the thoughts that accompany this.
6. "Uncatena" by Sylvan Esso
Sylvan Esso writes with engaging and raw lyrics. She explains the meaning behind her work, saying, "This is about a really tortured love affair that I had. When I was in college, I met this guy who lived in Toronto. We wrote each other the most romantic love letters for seven months. The second time I met him was in the summer, and I was with my entire family. We had the best week ever. I was so in love, I felt like I might die. When it ended, I had never been so heartbroken in my life. It was almost euphoric heartbreak."
7. "guarded" by Flor
Flor describes the meaning behind "guarded;" [It] is about growing in the midst of uncertainty. I ran with the imagery of having a fortress that I built up around myself being torn away and finding new beauty in the world." While a faster-paced song, the lyrics describe well the trouble of being unnecessarily guarded in this life.
8. "Frightening" by Leaf House
A band hailing from Belgium, this song draws the listener in with its memorable intro. This song, it seems, reflects lyrically the name of the album "Wood Signs We Found." While I was unable to find the lyrics to this song, it remains a worthwhile listen for its captivating feel.
9. "ILYSB - STRIPPED" by LANY
LANY does an excellent job of capturing the feeling of falling in love, specifically in this case summer love. The listener is able to resonate with loving someone "so bad," that it is almost unreal that this loving bond could feel so strong.
10. "Better" by Maggie Rogers
Maggie Rogers, using gorgeous lyricality, creates a home for her thoughts by using the backdrop of a late night drive. She explains, "[This is] a song about loving the difference between where I’m from on the eastern shore of Maryland and where I live in New York. Neither can ever really be better than the other, just wonderful opposites that fill me all the same."
11. "Fading" by Vallis Alps
Vallis Alps likens falling in love to fading out into the stars and the universe in their song "Fading." They use distinct imagery to paint a piece that creates a scene in the listener's mind of two people finding comfort in being together; their relationship is something otherworldly.
"On your eyelids / Orbits lighted / Stories in the lines across your face / ... And I didn’t think I would stay for this / And you didn’t think I would go / But now we’re alone in the atmosphere / A place I’ll never know"
12. "The Wave" by Colouring
Similar to Brothertiger's "Reach It All," Colouring writes with short, simple phrasing. Here, they parallel direct and distinct eye contact with being like a surfer and catching a wave, and the feeling of steadiness and power within that.
I hope you enjoy these new tunes, and that they speak to you in many different ways this summer.
Listen to the entire playlist here!