Successfully avoiding NYC all of April permitted me a huge blessing: avoiding the end of winter. Walking out onto the streets in Brooklyn no longer feels like a frozen punch in the face, and I welcome the blinding bursts of sunlight after an oppressive winter. There is nothing more relaxing than getting blazed and letting the sun beat down on your face. Maybe take a walk, maybe just sit there–but let the Vitamin D rejoin your life. These tracks are the musical version of that blissful, fuzzy feeling that only being stoned in the summer heat can give you.
Foxygen - “San Francisco”
Off the psych-rock duo’s stellar 2013 release We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, “San Francisco,” is a dreary dream. With lazy feminine backing vocals and a playful glockenspiel, this tune is perfect for laying in the grass, passing a joint, and letting the sun wash over you.
Parquet Courts - “Pretty Machines”
Something about “Pretty Machines” always gives me a moderate burst of enthusiasm–like the blip of confidence it takes to remove your hands from the handlebars of your bike. The modern leaders in post-punk, Parquet Courts deliver a lo-fi attempt at breaking down our draw to consumer goods with this track–but for this exercise, just ignore the pontificating and enjoy the steady guitars.
Adam Green & Binki Shapiro - “Just To Make Me Feel Good”
Something about Binki Shapiro emulates summer–breezy vocals that feel intimate, romantic, but never heavy. Her 2013 album with the Moldy Peaches is nothing short of that, with Green bringing his baritone swing to the 1960’s pop record. While the whole album is so pleasant, it feels like it was plucked right out of a vintage swimsuit ad, “Just To Make Me Feel Good,” is the standout.
Crocodiles - “Groove is In the Heart / California Girls”
Two excellent songs in their original nature, mashed together by groovy Cali outfit Crocodiles? This track is necessary for any day spent outside, passing the bowl and crushing tailgate beer.
Surfer Blood - “Floating Vibes”
Florida boys Surfer Blood understand what it’s like to live somewhere scorching hot at any given moment of time. Their debut album Astro Coast is where their roots show through the most, with track after track of harmonic, yet guitar heavy hits. Everything about the album feels like you’re on the shoreline–despite being lyrically heavy, at times even disheartening. But that is what Florida feels like–surrounded by vast oceans with nothing in the middle.
Neutral Milk Hotel - “King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1”
In An Aeroplane Over the Seaˆis a legendary indie rock album, remaining as adored as the day it was released in 1998. Though a lo-fi masterpiece altogether, “King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1,” with triumphant horns and lyrics that everyone sitting around you can identify, particularly emits the warm summer feels.