To me, the very best thing about summer is having the time to listen to so much music that I have to replace the batteries on my Beats headphones an embarrassing number of times. Summer is when I can peruse music sites for hours, download six albums in one sitting, and feel totally OK about that because HEY IT’S SUMMER, what else do I gotta do?!!! I’ve also managed to convince myself that it’s all part of my “musical/cultural education,” which is a totally real, totally valid thing, so there’s that.
Last summer I was on a self-imposed album-a-day regimen, but this summer I’ve upped the ante to two albums a day. (Mostly because I feel like I was particularly insular with my music listening this past school year.) My computer dashboard is littered with virtual post-its listing dozens of albums, and I’ve made a pretty sizable dent in the list so far! Right now, my musical taste is veering more on the electronic, psychedelic pop, chillwave side. It’s sort of a weird shift considering that last summer I was going through a heavy retro phase in which I exclusively explored and listened to the music of decades past… the polar opposite of all this futuristic stuff I’m into now. But you know how it works: Music taste is fickle. I think now I’m realizing that as much as it’s important to be knowledgeable about/have an appreciation for old music, it’s not like all modern music sucks. A lot of it is really cool and experimental and artistic; you just have to know where to find it. (Hint: not the radio)
Granted, I don’t love every album that I listen to, although I ALWAYS listen to it all the way through even if I don’t like it. (Part of the fun is thinking about why the album isn’t doing it for me.) But of course, along the way I’ve uncovered some absolutely phenomenal stuff and added some new favorite artists to my list. Here’s a smattering of some of those new favorites:
“Affection” by Crystal Castles: I remember babbling to myself in excitement minutes after turning on the album that this song is from (III by Crystal Castles). This is one of those albums that hooked me on first listen– definitely a rarity! I am so, so late to the Crystal Castles party, which makes me a huge noob, but I don’t care. I LOVE IT.
“Never Never” by SBTRKT: This song is gorgeous. I like the James Blake-esque moodiness combined with the tribal beat and soaring synth. SBTRKT probably ranks among my top five favorite electronic artists right now.
“Reverse Running” by Atoms for Peace: At first, I was terribly underwhelmed by the album AMOK, which is the experimental/electronic side project of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. I guess it just took me a couple of listens, but the album has more than grown on me, and now I’m obsessed. So earthy. So calming.