Poppy post-punk up-and-comer Blonder not only curated this week’s artist playlist, he guest-wrote for us. These are Blonder’s favorite summer songs, and a little bit on why he chose each of them.
The 1975 – “Fallingforyou”
This song just feels like falling in love, at least describing some of the feelings and moods associated w a summer fling. In the suburbs or the city, it’s a gorgeous song.
Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Greenwich Mean Time”
This song is perfect for getting dressed in your room before heading out to a party or works just as well if you’re with friends. Incredible chic and sexy, it immediately registers as cool. Beck produced it and everytime I’m like wow, how did he get those Kalimba sounds to feel that cool, i don’t get it! Charlotte Gainsbourg’s voice is incredible as ever.
INXS – “Need You Tonight”
This is big stadium pop a la 1987 – its a song I wish I wrote about a moment of euphoria. So sexy and just straight up fun and free. Michel Huchence’s voice is absurdly hot- undeniably peaking haha. The beat, the background muted funk guitars, the song structure, that occasional china cymbal, it’s all perfect.
Rihanna – “Sex with Me”
Drips with summer sexuality. I got into this song like 6 months after it was released. I gravitated toward the syncopation of her vocal melodies during the verses, and specifically how the second verse melodies don’t repeat the first, they’re just all so unique as they move through the song. I mean it’s Rihanna and this beat get’s me so pumped.
Blood Orange – “E.V.P.”
There’s just so much historical collaging in this song it’s incredible – W guest vocalist Debbie Harry, and co- written with Wally Badarou – of Tom Tom Club instrumentalist fame – (as well as with Bea1991) – it obviously references that kind of synthy funk of that New Wave New York era in the 80’s. It makes the old new again by actually incorporating those musicians of the past. It’s hard to say what the literal meaning of the lyrics are but it just feels so incredibly good. I actually have to move/ freak out on the street when I’m listening. Just gets you moving. The first 2 minutes of the song are just a vamp in D minor. It’s so special.
Buffalo Springfield – “Flying on the Ground Is Wrong”
Albeit an incredibly sad and beautiful song about breaking up and the intricate emotions about how/ why, it’s still a great one to put on if you’re hanging with friends and having a drink. It’s sung from the perspective of the instigator of the break up, and how they too are in pieces over this but that they can’t help how they feel and that their emotions have ran their course. Drenched in melancholy, its the story of people meant to be together but slighted by a wrong-place-wrong-time kind of situation: found particularly in the repeated lines “but you’re from my side of town, and I’ll miss you.”
Fleetwood Mac – “Big Love”
This is one of those big late 80’s pop songs that captures summer in a super exciting and positive way. It’s just fun and dance-y. I’ve been saying this a lot recently but it’s cool how it’s such a big release with an obviously huge budget behind it but there’s no compromise in terms of originality or emotion. And just love those synth stabs under the hook/ lyric “looking out for love!!!”
Lorde – “Swingin’ Party (the Replacements cover)”
I remember when I was writing a large portion of the demos that became my forthcoming EP in Los Angeles i would get back to my apt from a writing session and crave some kind of emotional cleansing or leveling – it’s hard to describe – but something that would guaranteed feel real and special and this song just does that every time for me. In part because of Lorde’s beautiful voice and obviously bc of the insane songwriting of Paul Westerberg.
The Beatles – “Drive My Car”
A classic, fun, courting love song you can blast on your way to the beach or by a lake. Anywhere and everywhere, it’s so full of life. I mean, it’s the Beatles !
Lana Del Rey – “Freak”
This is a way more downtempo song that I nevertheless find myself listening to an getting moody too on my way to the train. I feels like a balmy summer night, a more lethargic and emotional moment when there’s perhaps less to do and you’re just in your head. She’s so incredible as conveying the pictures of her hyper-glamourous emotion. Incredible.