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The real songs of summer
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/JD Hancock

The real songs of summer

Written by
Christopher Tarantino

New York summers: They're not here until they're totally here. And, ladies and gentlemen, they are now officially here. But with summer, also come summer songs.

So if you're tired of whatever's being flogged over and over on the radio—or your local radio station's Spotify channel—check out these five under-the-radar gems. And since there's more than enough horribleness going around lately, we've chosen five totally upbeat, positive, shiny, happy, bright, sunny numbers to cool down the hot days ahead. Stay thirsty, my friends.


1. Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve - “Creation

The second single from their decade-in-the-making psychedelic opus The Soft Bounce, Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve make music to party to like it’s 1969. Recalling mid-period Stereolab—which is never be a bad thing—lovely vocals from dueling chanteuses Jane Weaver (from Misty Dixon) and  The Magnetic North’s Hannah Peel. The French New Wave–inspired video is the first in a series of films based on the album’s eleven cinematic mood pieces.
See also: “Finally First


2. Japanese Breakfast - Everybody Wants to Love You” 

“Can I get your number? Can I get you into bed?” You will never hear anyone utter those words any sweeter than Michelle Zauner does in this track from Philly dream-pop outfit Japanese Breakfast. The remainder of terrific songs on Psychopomp, her band’s debut record, work similarly, covering melancholy and heartache in a poppy, candy-coated style with early-‘90s production that would make K Records proud.
See also: “In Heaven


3. Avalanches - “Colours

It may have taken 16 years for Australian sample-maniacs the Avalanches to follow up their cut-and-paste masterpiece Since I Left You, but they finally did and remind us why we waited in the first place with trippy summer sunshine of “Colours.”
See also:  “Subways

4. Dan Sartain - “Walk Among The Cobras

A remake of his own 2001 rockabilly jam in the dark electronic style of the Drive soundtrack, this single came packaged with Sartain’s original Walk Among The Cobras (Pt. I) on a Record Store Day 7” this past April. The prolific songwriter’s seventh LP Century Plaza solves the age-old Jeopardy! quandary: ‘He is Alabama’s electro-answer to Billy Joel.' “Who is Dan Sartain, Alex!”
See also: “First Bloods

5. Death in Vegas - “You Disco I Freak

After procuring guest vocals from bad boys Bobby Gillespie, Liam Gallagher and Iggy Pop, DiV leader Richard Fearless recruited author, former adult film star and Entourage bad girl Sasha Grey to take up singing duties for his sixth LP Transmission. Bonding over a deep mutual love of industrial electronics, the two churned out an album full of dark dirges on sordid love and broken lives with, somehow, an oddly uplifting result.
See also: “Consequences of Love

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