Let me unplug my headphones. My Summer Soundtrack (Thus Far)
As we approach Independence Day (yayyyy, America), I realize that the summer is now in full-swing. While most of my time has been swallowed in the depths of an over-crowded pool, I still make time to reward my ears with musical candy everyday.
Here is a list of must-listen songs for a musical enthusiast like myself (and trust, there’s a lot more to come):
1. Free - Bilal
- Philly soul. Back again. Just buttery, sultry, smoky, titillating, beautiful rhythm and blues music. In love. Welcome back, Bilal.
2. Misery - Maroon 5
- Adam Levine, you cannot do wrong by me. I must meet this man and learn his ways with pen and paper. This is the latest single by Maroon 5, and by the sounds of it, it will be blasting from the airwaves of every Top 40 radio station across the country within the next few weeks. If you want to love it before it gets excruciatingly annoying, download it soon.
3. What Part of Forever - Cee-Lo
- I must include this disclaimer: I did not expect to include a song from any of the Twilight movie series, but then Cee-Lo decided to pop out of the woodwork with this undeserved gem. It’s Cee-Lo, need I say more?
4. General Patton - Big Boi
- Sir Lucious Left Foot, is that you??? Big Boi brings it back. I close my eyes and imagine what it would have been like to listen to this mastered track for the first time in the studio. After your first listen, pause and try to remember what life was like for you three minutes previous.
5. For Your Smile - TiRon
- I stumbled across this song on one of the music blogs a few weeks ago. I literally haven’t felt so nostalgic and blissful in a long time. I don’t know many people who wouldn’t be able to relate to “The Wood”-esque nature of this track.
6. ADD SUV (Armand Van Helden Vocal Remix) - Uffie Feat. Pharrell Williams
- The last time two times I listened to this song, I was doing these two things: jumping around in the kitchen with my brother making dinner, and coasting around Lake Calhoun and turning the volume up on my speakers. I will pay you $10 if you can sit completely still throughout the entire song.
7. Down River - Temper Trap
- After I heard “Sweet Disposition” by this band, I became a fan of their music. They border on emo-vulnerability without crossing into Dashboard Confessional territory. They also border on mainstream monotony (ahem, Cities 97 anyone?), but there is something magically original about this band that (so far) has kept them in line. Maybe U2 meets Vampire Weekend?
8. Party With Children - Ratatat
- The type of song that you would hesitantly admit to enjoy when discussing with other people, until they hesitantly admit the same thing. And then you all would hug.
9. Dance Or Die - Janelle Monae
- True Life: I Am A Janelle Monae Stan. But seriously, this opening track toThe Archandroid is played in my car everyday on my way to work. My latest challenge: trying NOT to vibe my entire body while it’s on. So far, failure.
10. Right On - The Roots Feat. Joanna Newsom & STS
- As much as I hate when people talk about liking a song because of the beat, this song would be my exception to the rule. Joanna Newsom’s voice brings a whole ‘nother level of appreciation to this song. And the line: “I’ma raise the bar-dot, like Bridget” — GENIUS.
11. Got Your Back - T.I. Feat. Keri Hilson
- I have always been a fan of T.I., going back to when I used to bump “Urban Legend” in my Jeep in high school. And say what you want about Miss Keri Babyyy, but the woman has a golden touch when it comes to hooks. This is that “sticky-sweet, summer day checking texts from your boo” kind of song. And that’s A-OK.
12. Gone - Donnis
- To be honest, my first listen to this track off of The Diary of an Atlanta Brave mixtape didn’t completely sell me. However, I watched the music video and was sold. YouTube it.
13. Out My Mind, Just In Time - Erykah Badu
- Beyond being the name of her amazing tour (which I was blessed to be able to see in Chicago), this closing track on New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) is one of the most beautiful, tragic pieces of music that I have heard in the past few years, I kid you not. So introspective that her live rendition brought me to tears.