Playlist: End of Summer 2014 Top 5

Is it really September? It seems like it was just a few days ago that I was looking forward to summer and going to a bunch of music festivals. Life happened and most of my summer plans had to take a back seat to other things. That's how it works, I guess.

Despite only going to 3 shows and a music festival, I had a very eventful summer. Lot's of highs and lows - the kind that makes you reevaluate what's important right now and what it is that you've always wanted. And with great music serving as soundtrack to these events, it made even the lowest lows tolerable. 

Here are the Top 5 Songs that made my summer (in no particular order).

Young Rising Sons - High

Young Rising Sons had been on my radar for quite some time now.

I'm still a bit skeptical about them, but damn it, their songs are as infectious as Chlamydia in a bath house.

With lyrics like that seems to extrapolation, their sound is surprisingly uplifting, upbeat, and just the right amount of optimism that people like me would appreciate.

It's like Walking On Sunshine but far less annoying and not as overused on movie montage and trailers.

'Cause all we need is love

and love means sacrifice

But it's sure worth the prize

if you get it right (eh!)

'Cause way up in the sky 

there's no such thing as blind.

I listened to it the most the days leading up to my epiphany. It really is a fun, simple song that should be on everyone's "Feel Good Playlist".


Joywave - Tongues

This song from Joywave sounds like something from the Party Girl (1993) soundtrack. I imagine Parker Posey dancing to this song, or some drag queen Vogue-ing to it.

It, for some reason, also reminds me of Daft Funk's Around The World. There is something almost cartoonish about the beat, and that makes me smile every time it comes on my Spotify playlist. The lyrics perfectly describes what it feels like living in gossipy small community, much like being in the gay "community".

This song is fun, dancey, and very drag-tastic. I really like it more so than any the other songs in Joywave's discography.

Bleachers - Rollercoaster

Bleachers is Jack Antonoff's side project he started while on tour with his band Fun.

The album Strange Desire is a revealing, compassionate confession of someone "sorting things out." It's a lot like a blog post from someone in on the verge of a counseling break through. Something that I can obviously relate to.

Rollercoaster is one of the songs in the album that doesn't completely sound like you're eaves dropping on someone's therapy session. It's a sad song, but hopeful at the same time.


Bad Veins - Dancing On TV

This is an older song, I think. But I did not discover it till I heard it on KEXP.

There is so much longing in this song, that is masked by the upbeat rhythm, but still present in the lead singer's voice.

What I like about this is that it's a deceptively sad song, much like Baby, One More Time and MMMBop. I appreciate songs that seems vapid on the surface but actually has more to it - kinda like me, according to some people.

Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know?

Ryan: Wait, this is NOT Black Keys?

James: It's NOT?!

My exact reaction too. But that's a good thing.

This song has some seriously bad ass guitar riffs.

The lyrics is very tortured and a lot of longing - common themes in most of the songs that I gravitated to this summer.

So have you got the guts?  
Been wondering if your heart's still open
and if so I wanna know what time it shuts  
Simmer down and pucker up I'm sorry to interrupt. 
It's just I'm constantly on the cusp of trying to kiss you  
I don't know if you feel the same as I do  
But we could be together if you wanted to


Maids - Bandits

This is a local band here in Des Moines.

I had the chance to see them live this summer at 80/35 Music Festival.

They'd been around for a while, but I am just now discovering them. I've even met one of them in person before realizing that he's in this band. I'm glad that this town is producing some really decent bands, not just American Idol rejects.

Check out their Facebook page: Maids Facebook Page and a profile on Juice Magazine.