Life + Arts Music

Your summer music guide: 5 albums you’ve got to hear

It might not have sunk in yet, but summer ’14 is officially here. Whether you’re going to be spending the next hazy three months cramming for the GRE, earning some money  or “experience”  at a fancy new internship or kickin’ it poolside without a worry in the world, we’ve got the perfect tunes for you to check out this summer.

Bastille  “All This Bad Blood”

You’re probably familiar with this British synth-rock quartet after hearing “Pompeii” played incessantly on the radio. Let me reassure you — this band has a lot more to offer than their blip on Top 40 radio might suggest. “All This Bad Blood,” an expanded version of the band’s first LP “Bad Blood,” is a 25-track powerhouse of heavy disco-rock grooves and infectiously heavy-handed beats. Dan Smith’s smooth, sultry vocals blend seamlessly into the band’s unlimited variation of instrumentals. Check out “The Draw,” a chunky, brooding rock track that’ll give you some much-needed emotional catharsis after leaving that daunting first day of your summer internship. Have the colorful “Weight of Living Pt. II” staged to trumpet out of your car windows as you and your buds trek to Galveston.


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

fun.   “Aim & Ignite”

Despite the immense popularity of fun.’s Grammy Award-winning “Some Nights,” the band’s first LP introduces indie-rock to an entirely uncharted territory of sound. “Aim & Ignite” is a flawlessly sloppy blending of grandiose acoustic pop rock. It’s nothing like “Some Nights,” so don’t expect to hear an album chock-full of radio hits. Rather, this album blends numerous genres into one ambitiously packed track after another. Check out “Barlights” before you head out for a night on the town with your hometown buds. If you have a case of the summer school blues — The Daily Cougar’s condolences are with you  listen to ‘Be Calm.’ Tinged with irony, it’s one of the album’s most chaotic tracks and brings together an instrumental ensemble you’ve got to hear to believe. It won’t help you relax, but it’ll get your heart pumping more than any cup of coffee could.

Wild Moccasins  “88 92”

Houston-based Wild Moccasins have brought much-needed attention to the southern music scene by bringing psychedelic vibes to a region otherwise associated with haystacks and line dancing. Their unique brand of trippy indie rock promises to satisfy fans of Tame Impala, but it’s Wild Moccasins’ wispy lead vocalist that lightens the mood by bringing a feathery vibe to each track. “88 92” is the perfect accompaniment for a lazy day on the beach, but it can also double as some fantastic background music for a long night of studying. They’re chill, but not boring  each track sports a myriad of sparkling guitar triplets and brings a sense of escapism that few indie bands manage to so effectively deliver. Check out “Eye Makeup,” a funky, glittering listen that’ll erase any stress with one fell swoop and transport you into pure tranquility.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Chain Gang of 1974  “Daydream Forever”

These guys don’t have the name recognition that Bastille and fun. have managed to swing, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less of a major player. They’re much more mellow than fun., but what they lack in rambunctiousness is certainly made up for in the catchiness and cohesion of each track. “Daydream Forever” is an album heavily reliant on synthetic bass lines and crooning vocals, and each track is densely layered with electronic guitar riffs, rhythms and heavy key grooves. It’s best when played straight through, as each track never fails to inspire fist pumping (or some subtle head bobbing if listened to in public). Chain Gang will be performing at this year’s Free Press Summer Fest, where attendees will hopefully hear “Lola Suzanne,” a track built on a powerhouse chorus of weighty electronics and thick globs of bass.

Harts  “Offtime (EP)”

This relatively unknown Aussie is a funk behemoth. Darren Hart, the multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer and singer behind Harts seamlessly blends sparkling electronic rock with smooth funk and nu-disco. Though he’s only released one EP to-date, Offtime is an infallibly engaging listen that’s been compared to the likes of industry monoliths like Prince and Jimi Hendrix. The EP was recorded entirely by Harts in his makeshift bedroom studio, but there’s no sign of immaturity in this EP. Harts brings a fresh perspective to singing about music, sex, love  anything, really  that’s already been chewed up and spit out by the genre. He makes his youth work for him, in this sense  what Harts sings about isn’t exactly revolutionary, but the way he presents these ideas is bound to start a few riots.

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