Article: Various Artists | Songs of Summer

Clearly this was all just a ruse to include a picture of Katy Perry

Sounds of summer

Forget “California Gurls,” check these cool tunes for hot days (and nights).

By Joshua P. Ferguson

Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 07.22.10

TOC | Sounds of Summer

The debate over the song of the summer rages on. Is it Katy Perry’s ode to melting Popsicles and palm trees? Or maybe it’s Usher’s serenade to booty-popping shorties? No matter, both are on a heavy rotation that borders on severe monotony. Meanwhile, there’s groundbreaking music coming out in the bass music, house and, yes, even pop worlds, much of it going relatively unheard. Well, we’d like to change that.

Late “Losing You” (Immerse Records) Immerse continues Bristol, U.K.’s bass-music legacy with this serene Burial-esque dubstep number from Helsinki’s Late. Emerging through the track’s foggy beat, a longing vocal sample pines “we just can’t get over you,” and it couldn’t be more true.

James Blake “CMYK” (R&S Records) Buzzwords like nu-step or glitch-hop don’t quite cut it when dissecting James Blake’s postmodern sound. But this song’s title might. His musical palette draws from dubstep, hip-hop and, here, sublime, jazzy beats.

Rusko “Hold On” (Mad Decent) With a massive bass line and the sing-along chorus from the Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, Rusko’s latest shows a pop sensibility rare in dubstep. Hearing him drop this at Lollapalooza will be a highlight of summer, no doubt.

Nite Jewel “Another Horizon” (Gloriette Records) L.A.’s Ramona Gonzalez returns with more DIY chillwave. “Another Horizon” has more of an Au Revoir Simone–style pop meter—versus Gonzalez’s typical breezy midtempo disco—but with all the airy, layered vocals and soaring synths, it’s a welcome change of pace.

Mark Ronson & The Business Intl “Bang Bang Bang” (RCA) We’ve missed English super-produer Mark Ronson since 2007’s Version. Thankfully, he’s back with this hip-hop stomper that sees him teamed with singing gearhead MNDR and Q-Tip, in a triumphant return to his A Tribe Called Quest quality days.

Aeroplane “We Can’t Fly” (Eskimo Records) Praise for this Belgian duo’s latest comes with a hint of sadness; the two parted ways just a month shy of the release of “We Can’t Fly.” Regardless, Aeroplane gives us one last epic slow burner that can only be described as blissful gospel reggae disco.

Six more songs and a player to listen to all twelve after the jump:

TOC | Sounds of Summer



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