By Meredith Nardino
Watching the snow fall last week made me long for only one thing – summer. There is nothing I love more than bonfires at the beach, endless hours in the sun and roadtrips with perfect playlists. These are just a few songs I love to listen to when I need to escape the cold.
“You’re Still a Mystery” – Bleachers
Jack Antonoff (formerly of Fun.) formed Bleachers, a powerhouse indie-pop group, to explore a more personal outlet for his songwriting. Antonoff was inspired by 1980s new wave, and he created a sound that radiates nostalgia, yet still resonates with modern listeners. There is something so uplifting in Antonoff’s ability to consistently mask the slight darkness of his lyrics with such upbeat melodies. Though often unrecognized amongst Bleachers’ other popular work, this song’s sweeping chorus makes it the perfect summertime song.
“Get Away” – CHVRCHES
This Scottish electro-pop group blew critics away with its sophomore album, Every Open Eye, which premiered late last year. One of three bonus tracks on the album, “Get Away,” brings a new and exciting layer to the CHVRCHES of old. The song subtly highlights vocal samples from the band’s male instrumentalists, whose raspy tones compliment the bright, poppy voice of lead singer, Lauren Mayberry. CHVRCHES has continued to expand its sound in brilliantly inventive ways, an achievement showcased perfectly in this song.
“The Sound” – The 1975
When I first heard this song live back in December, I eagerly awaited its radio debut. As expected, the studio cut of this track was nothing short of brilliant. The 1975 embraced its love for pop music ahead of its sophomore album, and ditched its moody, black-and-white aesthetic for a vibrant pink. With a simple chorus and intricate verses, this song lets The 1975 show off its greatest asset: guitarist Adam Hann. The 1975 constantly challenges the definition of pop, a feat easily achieved in this single by Hann’s flawless solo in the bridge. “The Sound” is addictive and though it differs from what the band has released previously it is The 1975 at their best.
“American Money” – BØRNS
After the success of his first single, “Electric Love,” it seemed as though the world could not wait to see what this Michigan artist would produce next. His debut LP, Dopamine, was one of my favorites of 2015 and proved that there is elegance and individuality in simplicity. “American Money” is hypnotic and easily the best track on his album, as BØRNS croons the same type of dreamy poetry heard on Lorde’s Pure Heroine. BØRNS is an unpredictable artist and a breath of fresh air amongst today’s basic pop music.
“Flesh Without Blood” – Grimes
Claire Boucher, otherwise known as Grimes, is no stranger to thinking outside the box. Since 2013, this Canadian artist has been capturing the attention of mainstream producers with her unorthodox performance style. Off her fourth studio album, Art Angels, this single captures Grimes’ exciting and eclectic essence. “Flesh Without Blood” relies on a brisk, ethereal hook, which contrasts beautifully with its often unintelligible lyrics.
“Dancing on Glass” – St. Lucia
Jean-Philip Grobler began performing as St. Lucia when he moved to New York in 2012, and he has since produced several radio-ready tunes that emulate the work of Passion Pit and Foster the People. “Dancing on Glass” is the promising first single off his new album, Matter, which comes out this week. St. Lucia often receives praise for crisp percussive beats and earworm choruses, both of which are exhibited perfectly in this track.
“Feels Like Summer” – Panama Wedding
I first heard this New York synth-pop group early last year when they supported Magic Man on their first headlining tour. I was immediately intrigued by the way singer Peter Kirk effortlessly created images with his story-like lyrics. The group’s first EP dropped in 2014 and featured this upbeat anthem. True to its title, this song really does feel like summertime. While Kirk’s style is melodically simple, it is altogether unique in tone and execution.