13 Summer Anthems of 2013

Remember Rufus & Chaka Khan’s Tell Me Something Good? Or, the more recent; Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People?

Yup. It’s the time of the year again. Summer is finally here, and the cheery-yet-laidback holiday feel is back creeping on us. True to the tradition, we’ve picked out 13 summer anthems that fit the criteria to be the soundtracks of the most anticipated holiday of the season. Whether you’re sunbathing in the beach or just simply sipping on your lemonade at home, these tunes will make everything feel much more fun and jolly.

1. Trains – Wampire

With its lazy and breezy tune, Trains quickly puts you in a true summer mood. Its retro-funk feel will compel you to just relax, to lie down on the warm sand of the beach, and put your shades on as you bask in the heavenly sunlight.

2. 3am Spiritual – Smith Westerns

Craving for a peek of the new Smith Westerns album, Soft Will? This track might give you an idea or two of what the band have to offer. 3am Spiritual has some kind of a John Lennon-inspired melancholy goodness to it, completed with a touch of emotional guitar solo that will make you feel like you’re being thrown into a time machine and get sent back to the 1960s—which, is a cool decade, by the way. This is the song you’d want to be on play as you surf the waves of the Indian Ocean, or when you’re speeding down the highway that leads to your summer destination.

3. Alive – Empire of the Sun

The chorus of this song sounds pretty self-explanatory; “Loving every minute ‘cause you make me feel so alive,” sings Luke Steele. It’s a dancing ecstasy that sends tingles to every fiber of your body, making it hard for you to not break into a move. The shimmery synths make listening to the whole track feels like a trip to Neptune in the middle of summer; escaping from the hot, unforgivable heat, to the chilly and freezing planet. It’s been said many times that the mind is a powerful thing, and Alive will probably help you tone down the high temperature and cope with the heat wave that is to come during the season.

4. White Noise – Disclosure (feat Aluna George)

The sharp staccato synth melody, combined with the sugary sweet, almost-childlike voice of Aluna Francis (of Aluna George), is definitely the recipe for this catchy and dancy track. There’s probably nothing cooler than to have this song playing in a hip beach party you’re attending.

5. Demon Dance – Surfer Blood

Demon Dance is the second single off the new Surfer Blood album, Phytons. Judging from the sound of this song, it seems that Surfer Blood have managed to maintain their signature indie-meets-grunge roots. It’s packed with gritty pop vocals and hooky, Weezer-ish guitar, but the light melody makes the song a perfect company as you do your summer activities–maybe even get you to sing (or shout) along to a few lines from it.

6. Diane Young – Vampire Weekend

Aside from the funky bass and clattering drums, the surf guitar from Rostam Batmanglij also makes this somewhat abstract song something immensely fun to listen to. If this doesn’t immediately put you in a summery, groovy party mood, we’re not sure what would.

7. She Changes the Weather – Swim Deep

Mighty guitar squalls? Check. Frontman Austin Williams cooing like a Romeo? Check. This could be the soundtrack for your beautiful summer love.

8. Guns – CHVRCHES

Hauled as the band’s “best track to date” by many, Gun has an electro-pop sound and simple bass. It doesn’t sound too flashy or boisterous, which makes it a perfect summer festival sing-along.

9. The National – Sea of Love

Sea of Love (from which the band’s new album—“Trouble Will Find Me”– had taken its title from) is a tender, vigorous rock song that charms its way to your heart at the first listen. It could also be the perfect song for a slow, humid day.

10. Jessica – Major Lazer (feat Ezra Koenig)

It’s a low-paced ska-tinged jam that triggers a modicum of head nodding. The first thing that crosses your mind once you hear the intro would be an image of  an exotic tropical island with white sand and palm trees on the sides. Add Ezra Koenig’s vocal, and you’ve got yourself an engrossing song to hum to as you take a walk to the beach.

11. No Shelter – Blouse

No Shelter feels like a valley girl-acid trip, coated in some post-punk feel and a flavor of west coast America. The Portland band surely succeeded to deliver all the hazy goodness in this song.

12. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke (feat T.I. and Pharrell)

When you ignore its racy content, the track is a bubbly bit of disco-shuffling R&B, with the (almost) right balance of smooth and soulful.

13. Get Lucky – Daft Punk

Okay. Some of you are probably shaking your head right now, saying that this one should be on the top of the list. The rest would probably argue that the hype has murdered this song for you that you can’t even listen to it anymore. But still, you can’t deny that the song sounds so, so good. Get Lucky is a formidable old-school disco jam. It’s intoxicating with the combination of minor chords and regular disco-type “up” beats throughout the song. A number of critics have even called it a track that represents “all that’s right in electronic music.” All in all, it’s a fun song that fits the happy mood of summer, a tune that easily gets one to sway their way to the dance floor.

 (Shafira Desliara/Photo: Karpe Diem)