Art by Emma Crees
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Summer is a time for basking under the sun, picnics at the park and road trips with loved ones, and the music industry delivered an array of hit songs and chart-topping albums for the perfect summer playlist. Here are some recommendations from the music industry’s summer 2023 pool.
“Calico” by Ryan Beatty
With its release at the end of April — when summer begins for Pepperdine students — “Calico,” by Ryan Beatty, set off the season with tunes made for road trips with close friends. Lyrics like, “Glitter on my face / Screaming your name / Laughter everlasting” in “Bright Red” touch on the youthful and carefree energy that summer provides. The sweetness of Beatty’s tenor voice paired with his melancholic coming-of-age lyrics is the perfect backdrop for moments among natural wonders and bonfires under a sky full of stars.
“KAYTRAMINÉ” by KAYTRAMINÉ
This summer gifted us with a powerful duo in the music industry: KAYTRAMINÉ. The chemistry between producer and DJ Kaytranada and rapper Aminé shines through this hip-hop-influenced club album. “KAYTRAMINÉ,” an album created in a Malibu beach house, whose features include Pharell Williams and Amaarae, was born for the summer.
KAYTRAMINÉ is “an album best consumed in direct sun, drink in hand, with minimal clothing and even less inhibition,” according to Pitchfork writer Matthew Ismael Ruiz.
“In the End It Always Does” by The Japanese House
The Japanese House birthed a stunning indie-pop album, “In the End It Always Does,” in June, blessing fans with melodramatic and synth-riddled love songs. Amber Bain, the woman behind the magic of The Japanese House, collaborated with The 1975’s George Daniel for her second album.
The album flows through danceable ensembles like “Boyhood” to heartbreaking melodies in songs like “One for sorrow, two for Joni Jones.” The ninth track “Sunshine Baby,” in particular, sounds as if the listener is walking on sunshine. The multitudes of Bain’s talents are magnified in this piece of work.
“Sunburn” by Dominic Fike
Released in early July, Dominic Fike’s second album “Sunburn” showcases a mature yet grunge side of the 27-year-old singer. In “Sunburn,” Fike recounts all the hurt and joy he’s experienced and paints them vulnerably with the sound of silky guitar strings and a voice like honey. With guitar riffs like the one in “Pasture Child” and upbeat instrumentals in “How Much Is Weed?,” “Sunburn” feels like sun-kissed skin and wind blowing through your hair.
“Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift, a woman of many eras, released “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” in July, and with it came six vault songs. Among these are the charming collaboration with Paramore frontwoman Hayley Willams “Castles Crumbling” and the sassy bass-centric “I Can See You.” But, it’s the darling country tune “Foolish One” that tugs at the heartstrings of “Speak Now” lovers. The brutally honest wake-up call-of-a-song is reminiscent of the country twang that brought Swift acclaim 13 years ago.
“Barbie The Album” by Various Artists
Every blockbuster film needs a dazzling soundtrack to accompany it. “Barbie,” with Greta Gerwig as director, took this summer by storm. With a star-studded cast, it is no wonder the soundtrack boasted names like Charli XCX, Billie Eilish, Tame Impala and Nicki Minaj. The album was produced by music-genius Mark Ronson. Funky disco tracks like “Dance The Night” by Dua Lipa and soft pop songs like “Angel” by PinkPantheress make for a colorful soundtrack to match the awe of “Barbieland.”
Clairo gave fans new renditions of four of her most popular songs recorded at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City. The collection of recordings acts as an introduction to a new era of music in which Clairo seems set free from her usual bedroom pop and folk sound.
The British R&B singer’s new song is a flirty experiment, different from Smith’s typical somber ballads. With lyrics like, “Only here for the weekend / I’ve just stepped out with my friends / Don’t tell me that you’re leaving,” listeners will be transported to a dancefloor where the night feels endless.
With summer bringing in an abundance of hits, fans and music lovers can expect more chart-toppers from the industry in the months to come.
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