Welcome to the August installment of New(ish) Music Tuesdays, our monthly feature in which our music staff write about their favorite new songs. This month, we return from a brief hiatus to write about our late contenders for the songs of the summer.
Kungs vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners – “This Girl”
This summer’s pop charts have been uncharacteristically dreary, capped off by a dull Drake song sitting on the top of the Hot 100 for ten weeks. That’s why it was such a breath of fresh air to hear “This Girl”, a collaboration between French house DJ Kungs and Australian soul trio Cookin’ on 3 Burners. The song is the kind of upbeat, danceable, catchy pop song that a good song of the summer should be. It reminds me a lot of Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be”, one of my favorite chart-pop of the entire decade. I sincerely hope that “This Girl” becomes the monster hit that it deserves to be, and finally injects some long-needed fun into the Top 40.
Tacocat – “Talk”
“Talk” is the centerpiece of Tacocat’s excellent sophmore album Lost Time. It’s one of those songs that took me a couple playthroughs to truly appreciate and love. Tacocat’s best songs (“Crimson Wave”, “You Never Came Back”) have wonderful, immediate hooks that get stuck in your head straight away and never leave. “Talk”’s hook is much more subtle, and it takes a few listens for the chorus for it truly burrow in and become the biggest earworm of the band’s career. Its’ quality is a testament to Tacocat’s well deserved reputation as one of the Pacific Northwest’s best bands.
Lukr – “Fucked Up Summer”
Nashville’s Lukr puts his heart firmly on sleeve and plays to the bleeding hearts crowd to the fullest of effects with this absolute gem! “Fucked Up Summer” features a stunning interlude and lyrics that visualize falling in loving with every portion of a being even if it may or may not be for more than a summer. You almost get taken back by the title and your expectations are completely shot when you truly take the time to not judge this book by it’s cover…er…title.
Rooney – “Washed Away”
In 2007, Rooney danced into the spotlight with the clever, catchy single “When Did Your Heart Go Missing?” This past May, the California band reentered the alternative rock scene with Washed Away, a glossy, glorious album that gleans inspiration from a variety of eras. One of the record’s most magical moments is the title track, which reels listeners in with an unforgettable riff and keeps them entertained with Robert Schwartzman’s emotive vocals. The laid-back verses evoke comparisons to Weezer, while the majestic chorus channels the contemplative spirit of the great Britpop anthems.
Palaye Royale – “Warhol”
If you like the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” and Cage the Elephant’s “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” you’ll love Palaye Royale’s new song “Warhol.” Boasting creative percussion, lyrics sung with angst and eloquence, and a guitar riff that sinks gracefully into the depths of the earth, this fantastically dark track is hard to forget. With every verse, the intensity of the song is cranked up a notch. By the final chorus, vocalist Remington Leith is shouting, new instruments have emerged from the shadows, and Palaye Royale has officially secured its place on the Grand List of Bands the World Should Be Watching.
Relient K – “Bummin'”
In April, alternative rock band Relient K released “Bummin'” as the first single from Air For Free. This decision was a smart one; “Bummin'” reveals a shinier, more refined version of the band while proving that the playful spirit central to earlier albums is still alive and well. Relient K fans rejoice: it seems as if the guys who sang about Nancy Drew and The Breakfast Club years ago have perfected the art of growing up without getting boring.
Never Shout Never – “Raindrop Bluez”
Last year, Never Shout Never personified a balloon on the album Black Cat. In their mellow new single “Raindrop Bluez,” it’s raindrops who are talking and thinking. A graceful string section and a folksy stomp-clap beat give this song a laid-back, bohemian feel that’s perfectly in tune with Christofer Drew’s modern-hippie persona. The sweet, reflective lyrics about friendship and courage are sure to fill your day with good vibes.
Lindsey Stirling feat. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – “Something Wild”
I don’t know why songs from movies have been some of my top favorites this year, especially when they aren’t even instrumental orchestras (gasp). This song contributes to the list as it’ll be featured in Disney’s Pete’s Dragon movie soundtrack. This song fills your adventurous spirit with an upbeat folk melody. Lindsey Stirling provides the folk track with her talented string abilities while Andrew McMahon’s vocals and piano give the track an indie flare. I never thought these two artists would make a song together but I’m so happy they did. One of the best collaborations this year thus far.
Dan + Shay – “From the Ground Up”
The dynamic duo of Dan and Shay is my current music obsession. Their music is upbeat, fun, relatable and is perfect to blast during the summertime. I’m not sure why I’m just finding out about their music now but since my discovery, their music has been on constant repeat.
These guys are not only funny and down-to-earth but their country music is all about relationships, finding and even at times losing love. ‘From the Group Up’ has been deemed as a “wedding song” as the track takes you down the path of finding the one and starting a family and life together. The slow build up surrounds itself with the message love and happiness.
Katy Perry – “Rise”
Katy Perry’s new song ‘Rise’ is so empowering. With the rise of women empowerment and feminism, this track may be one of the top songs that’ll display that same message. It’s a perfect song to listen to early in the morning or when you’re going through a challenging time or even when you’re feeling fierce. Trust me, this song will give you that confidence boost you need. From the gradual build up to the lyrics, Katy Perry’s new song is definitely one that I could get behind on.