Summer’s winding down, yet things are heating up. You’d never know August is almost over by the sounds of this sultry sampler. The pulsating playlist ends summer with a bang, a pop, and a sizzle. If you’re feeling extra saucy, make sure to check out the extended version of this playlist on YouTube, which features five extra bonus tracks.
Bear Hands – Giants
Let’s get this party started not with Pink, but with Bear Hands, a Brooklyn-based band with music so feel-good it makes me want to sneak up behind everyone and give them a from-the-back Bear-Handed bear hug. I just can’t help myself with this jangly jubilee of a jam. Its warm wall of sound is euphoria-inducing in only the way the best power-pop ballads can be.
Butcher Blades – Dive! Dive! Dive!
One listen to this song and you’d swear Butcher Blades was born under a California sun. If I weren’t too busy saving my babies from dingoes, I’d tell you you swore wrong. In the meantime, you can entertain yourself by biting into this sun-baked biscuit that’s authentically Aussie.
(Get the free download from The Burning Ear.)
Coasts – A Rush of Blood
Dream-inducing vocals mixed with soaring melodies, swooping synths, and enveloping percussion are willfully obscured like the adrenaline haze of a top-shelf bottle of tequila. This five-pieced English rock band has become somewhat of an indie darling in 2015, best known for how they add shine to a sound that’s intentionally rough around the edges. Indeed, layers of sound unfurl themselves as listeners are soaked in reverb and hung to dry in the arena rafters, where only the echoes of celestial dirge can reach them.
Foals – Milk & Black Spider
A sweaty and melodramatic rumbler, here we have ourselves a pedal-infused masterpiece of alternative-pop perfection. Grungy guitars and giant-slaying hooks are woven together through the heavy use of stringed instruments. Together, the gritty emotional intricacy bends and turns into a grandiose aesthetic, culminating in a spine-tingling climax that incinerates all within earshot.
YesYou – Half Of It
Brash confidence abounds with a fizzing, exploding piece of synthed out bliss. This succulent slice of sonic heaven comes from production duo Jono Kirkham and Gav Parr, whose percussion-heavy slow-dance anthem carries both the weightlessness and responsibility of a lazy hazy afternoon. It’s the kind of day where not doing much is something to do, where sonic is golden and space to breathe is paramount.