Ah yes, Labor Day Weekend, the unofficial end of summer. School’s starting again, the sun is starting to go down sooner, it’s getting colder (or if you’re in LA you’re waiting to smell smoke from a nearby wildfire), but also it’s time to start reflecting on what the heck just happened.
Now that there’s more voices than just me on the blog, we want to highlight what we’ve been listening to when the seasons end, so we’re gonna start doing that. At the end of every season, we’re gonna get a little reflective and put it all in a playlist for you! Consider this the closest you’ll get to us reviewing new releases and our personal playlists. This month it’s me and the bestie, Eden.
Kelly’s Summer Highlights
It’s All Happening – Saint Motel
This song helped me fondly remember why June 25, 2021 was one of the best days this year. I was on my way home after a fresh haircut to talk to a recruiter about a full time job at a music tech company. It’s (obviously) been a dream of mine to work in the music industry in some capacity and even though I was trying to not get my hopes too high for this one, I was feeling good about how the interviews had gone. Like a good omen, this song came up on shuffle and gave me validation of the good vibes I was feeling. After talking to the recruiter, I was told I got the job and it all started happening, finally. This song just sounds victorious and exciting, a lot like most of my life if I’m being honest! Not gonna lie, The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Saint Motel is definitely a front runner for my defining album of the year.
Reaper – Clairo
I freaked out when Clairo dropped her album Sling because I was not ready to feel so seen. The Carole King/Joni Mitchell/Carly Simon-esque instrumentation and production really hit me fondly because I look up to those phenomenal women and it makes me happy to see their influence in action. I’ve also really been vibing to sad sounding female singer-songwriters like Clairo, Arlo Parks, Faye Webster, and Phoebe Bridgers lately. I’m fascinated by the level of depth and emotion they communicate in their lyrics. This song for example is really hitting my tender nerve about family, breaking generational cycles, and the idea of motherhood. I haven’t been ready for any of those conversations but this one communicates my starting place: “I can’t fuck it up if it’s not there at all.” Phew, this calls out my conflict avoidance better than anything I’ve heard. I love how I thought I was feeling happier than ever for most of the summer but literally spent the majority of it listening to sad girl music and can tell I’m gonna be listening to it even more during fall. Lol why am I like this?
Billie Bossa Nova – Billie Eilish
Speaking of feeling happier than ever, Billie’s new album has really been growing on me since my first listen. I just feel like it really feels right with the version of myself that I’m growing into. “Billie Bossa Nova” is my current favorite on the album because you just feel that slinky hotel lounge feeling. The guitar part is so simple yet so evocative. I know because I’ve been trying to learn how to play it. I love that Billie’s soft voice sounds sneaky and sultry in this song. It almost reminds me of the femme fatales of Old Hollywood in the 1940s. Is that a hint to something on the horizon, Kelly? Aw, it’s cute that you think I’d give myself away that easily.
religion (u can lay your hands on me) – Shura
I have not been able to stop grooving to this song ever since it got stuck in my head while on a Target run. I love a good disco-inspired groove and this one is just perfect. Also the lyrics are so creative and sexy, like “I want to consecrate your body, turn the water to wine” — are you kidding me? I don’t even know what that’s fully referring to but it’s hot, especially the way Shura sings that catchy melody. Also I’m gonna say it: religious metaphors are hot pretty much every time even if they’re possibly blasphemous. Heck, especially if they’re a little blasphemous lol.
Courtside – Tim Atlas
My roommate invited me to see Tim Atlas for my first indoor concert back and it was so cool. Even though I kept my mask on the whole time and didn’t fully know all the songs, it was SUCH a VIBE. I’ve been slowly getting into more Neo Soul and R&B artists and Tim’s music is a great preview of it. I gotta say though, it sounds even better live, especially when the bass slaps as hard as it did that night. Speaking about the bass, the bassist on Tim’s band, Luke, looked eerily familiar to me. By that I mean I could’ve sworn a certain musician I know who is based in Boston had not told me he had flown to LA to play a gig as a bassist.
Eden’s Summer Highlights
Fountain Of Youth – Local Natives
Oh BABY, this song makes me feel so good. When I’m driving through Silver Lake, windows down on the way to Trader Joe’s with this song blasting, I feel invincible. It’s about empowerment and the collective impact of youth on the world. It’s a reminder that none of us know what we’re doing. I mean, “We can’t keep pretending we know what we’re doing.” I can’t be the only one that lives every day faking it in hopes of making it. It’ll make you want to throw your hands up and surrender, but not in a defeated way. It’s about acknowledging we are finite and limited but embracing the power in that. This song feels like a trust fall, if that makes sense.
Heat Waves – Glass Animals
I’m convinced that there’s a brilliant scientist somewhere on the planet who created a machine that can take ideas, experiences, physical sensations, and every other part of the human experience and turn them into a single song that encapsulates it all. My theory is that that scientist took the elements of Summer — the warm nights, the picnics, the sunshine, the long car rides with the AC blasting, the pool parties (need I say more?) — compressed all of them together, and out popped “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals. As an LA native, I’m no stranger to literal heat waves, but when I hear the lyric “late nights in the middle of June”, I can’t help but be transported to such specific Summer memories, scents, and sights. Like a warm nostalgic embrace, but since it’s Summer and we’re sweaty, it’s like a nostalgic high five.
California – The Band CAMINO
You don’t need to know how many times I listened to this song on my daily Depression Walks during quarantine. It made me feel something, which was all that mattered. This song just feels like California and, during that really challenging time in my life, I was reminded of the vibrance and life in my home state. The version of Eden that existed in March 2020 fantasized of the day where I could once again blast this in the car on a warm summer night. I made sure to do just that every chance I got in Summer 2021, and boy did it feel amazing. A song that once represented what could be now represents what is and what always will be.
Go Down Together – Foxing
This one is dedicated to my wonderful boyfriend, Nicklaus (cue the collective “AWWWWW!!”). No but really, he’s the best, and he loves Foxing. They were one of the first bands Nick introduced me to when we started dating a little over a year ago, and I was immediately bitter that I didn’t discover them first (still am, honestly). I really love this band but don’t want to give Nick that satisfaction. Pettiness aside, this song is the indie-rock anthem of your dreams. This album only came out recently, but I’ll never forget listening to it for the first time, sitting shotgun in Nick’s car on a long car drive. Doesn’t get much more “Summer romance” than that, does it?
NOHO (feat. ICECOLDBISHOP) – AG Club, ICECOLDBISHOP
Something you’ll quickly learn about me is that, for all of my ramblings about indie and pop, there is a part of me that’s very large that loves hip-hop and rap. @Kelly I would love to dive into this more on the blog (hint hint). I found AG Club earlier this year and have since done a deep dive into their catalog. ICECOLDBISHOP’s feature is so good it hurts. If Brockhampton is your thing, you should give Bay Area natives AG Club a try. And if you need me, I’ll be in my car trying to memorize the lyrics so I can impress my friends.