The Best New Music to Soundtrack the Summer
By Alexandra Russel
With changes in season come different artistic and emotional responses to our surroundings, whether it be in attempt to capture the atmosphere of an area at a certain point in time, or to provide some much needed relief from reality. Music is the most immediate and accessible form of art to engage with in this way, and this summer’s offerings do not disappoint. In exchange for the thick and heavy house beats of winter, five young artists have released tracks that exemplify the freedom, hedonism and pure escapism of the summer season. From Londoner Shura’s floating electronic pop to upcoming Canadian native Hartry’s sensual chill, a range of new songs capture the distinct feeling of the long, languid days that we attempt to prolong. Here’s a list of them:
The Best Crew - Tep No
Tep No’s most recent release is a breathy, pulsing lament to a lost lover. Simple electronic beats combine with tropical rhythms and carefree vocals to create a promise of intimacy that feels liberated from the struggles of everyday life. Anxious and regretful lyrics like ‘And now I wonder what went wrong/So many things I can’t undo, oh baby’ seem romanticised when layered over driving chord progressions and looped vocal accents, signalling a desire for the hedonism of days past. The light, breezy rhythms evoke visuals of bright summer days, and make for essential listening.
Hunter - Hartry & Schier
This upcoming Canadian artist fuses sensual beats with expressive guitar licks and carefree vocals on her track ‘Hunter’ to create a hazy, languid effect that hangs in the air. The lyrical refrains of ‘Can’t you see, I’m a hunter baby’ melt with syncopated electronic rhythms that tumble over one another towards a climactic, driving bridge. The escapist quality of the track - created by Hartry’s use of tropical nature sounds - contrasts with its confessional tone, striking the tension between reality and freedom that the summer months embody.
What’s It Gonna Be? - Shura
Shura’s ghost-like vocals melt with slick electronic compositions to create a therapeutic and chilling effect. ‘What’s It Gonna Be?’, the third track from the Londoner’s recently released debut LP ‘Nothing’s Real’, combines upbeat, climbing verses with bright choruses that evoke the yearning and frustration of finding love. The track is light and free, but also defiant - with expressive guitar licks and reverberating synths, it captures the emotional deliberation of the long, contemplative summer days that many listeners are familiar with. Shura is definitely one to watch in the future.
S.Y.B.F. (Set Your Body Free) - DWYR
The pulsing electronic beats of Madrid-based artist DWYR are punctuated with breathy synths and euphoric, liberated vocals. Circular, climbing rhythms amplify lyrics such as ‘Higher, don’t wake me from this dream / Just take me higher, losing gravity I wanna try it / Only if you’re holding me’, which evoke an atmosphere of dancefloor hedonism that would not sound out of place on a soundtrack to a beach getaway. The song is bolstered by a basic driving beat that acts in synergy with crashing drops to create an unstoppable, indulgent musical force.
Dangerous - Frances Rose
These two New York-based sisters have released a sweet, simple electronic pop track that captures the innocent desire to experience the unknown. Combining gentle vocals and climbing guitar interludes, ‘Dangerous’ is an ode to teenage adventure that becomes increasingly urgent, and ever more infectious, with bright refrains. With lyrics like ‘This is getting too good, emotion hits me too soon/Getting drunk on your roof, something dangerous’, the track manages to sound light and transparent yet also introspective; reflecting the transience of the summer months.