Summer Sounds


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Erik Kirtley, Various
14 Sunday 14th August 2011

Washed Out - Eyes Be Closed (Star Slinger Remix) by WeirdWorldRecordCo

A new name that's become synonymous with that late evening barbeque sound has to be producer and remixer Star Slinger. Born Darren Williams, and now firmly embedded in the adoring doodles and love notes of music bloggers all over the world, he's teamed up with chillwave king Ernest Greene (aka Washed Out) on this rework of 'Eyes Be Closed'. Although it's been over a year since we caught up with Greene, his sound still works as beautifully as ever when the sun's out.

Sunny Adventure by bestcoastt

With guitar riffs and melodies practically churned out of pure sunshine, Best Coast is another summer songstress worth noting. Although becoming quite the Marmite act (a saccharine-sweet West Coast sound will do that), Bethany Cosentino and her band still know how to crank out the perfect parts of a pop tune. This is one she quietly put up on her Soundcloud a few months ago, whilst busy touring and making one music video after the next. Play it when you've snuck your way into a hotel pool or crashed a pool party and want to celebrate the victory.

Toro Y Moi "New Beat" by Carpark Records

Toro Y Moi's delicious brand of melodic pop is next on our mini playlist. He uses elements of funk and the kind of sleazy lounge disco you'd expect to hear at a coke dealer's house 22 years ago, then makes them awesome. Pulling that off alone merits a mention. More than that, though, Chaz Bundick has an excellent ear for the production tweaks that make his sound so recognisable.

Neon Indian - Polish Girl from Anastasia Marchal.

In a similar vein we have Neon Indian, another of the grand-daddies of glo-fi and chillwave. Initially Alan Palomo's solo bedroom project, the live band is now a three-piece that would have just passed through and graced London's Electrowerkz with their synth-driven and dreamy music if the riots hadn't gotten in the way. Summer sunsets would go well with this one in any case, most likely on your patio or in your favourite local pub beer garden. Keep your eyes out for an interview very soon...


When the sun finally dips and disappears, summer nights have that awesome longevity which songs like this Clock Opera remix pair beautifully with. Clock Opera's Guy Connelly has taken "The Bay" and given Metronomy one of his 'chop pop' makeovers. The Mercury Prize nominated band (whom we chatted to here) then transition so well from the daytime beach scenarios that inspired their recent record to the starts of the roof parties where we imagine this tune would be played loud from.

Midnight City by M83

Finally, if you're one of the strong ones who can make it all the way to catch the summer sunrise, this new M83 single has to be the one to usher in a new day. The saxophone sample that kicks in towards the end straddles the line between retro cheese and brilliantly textured instrumentation; we're not complaining, though. If this song is anything to go by, it sounds like M83's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming could be a summer staple for years to come. In the meantime, enjoy "Midnight City". After midnight, ideally.

Which songs have you already been listening to and loving this summer? And which do you think you'll be adding to your summer playlists as September edges ever closer? Let us know.

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