The Campus Times staff recommends their picks for their favorite song from the summer. The songs range from contemporary to 19th-century impressionist. A playlist with the songs can be found on Spotify.
Ashley Bardhan — “HEART SHAPED FACE” by Angel Olsen:
“Heart Shaped Face” is folky, and alarmingly ska at times, and Olsen not so much articulates as she does drawl. And, God, does it make me feel things. “Have whatever love you want to have / but I can’t be here anymore …/ Heartache ends / and begins again.” I’m very good at being sad in the summer, but this song helped.
Trevor Whitestone — “BABY BLUE” by Fishmans
No carefree stroll through some sunny metropolitan outskirts would be complete without this lilting but complex piece of reggae-infused city pop. The Tokyo-based ’90s outfit Fishmans blended many styles, but its heart and soul resided in the androgynous vocals of Shinji Sato, which were playful at times and sorrowful at others.
Unfortunately, Sato passed away young, but his spirit lives on in “Baby Blue.” On the track, he tries to explain a love he’s feeling. Only one line is in English. Amid booming percussion and breezy flutes, you can sense him shrugging when he says “baby, it’s blue.”
Ben Schmitz — “DOLORES & KIMBERLY” by Advance Base
Lonely evenings at home in a season romanticised in beachy vignettes can make you feel purposeless. Times like these are when the music of Advance Base, and can show you that normal lives can be important. His newest song “Dolores & Kimberly” shows him in peak form with straightforward narrative songwriting, telling stories that should only matter to the people in them, but that make you feel like your own stories can mean something too.
Sam Maynes — The Music of Billy Joel
At the end of May, one of my bosses referred to me as an “oldie but goodie,” and when it came to picking a few playlists, I stuck to that motto. Billy Joel is amongst the best piano men to have ever blessed this earth. The euphoria from these songs is perfect for when you take a few weekend trips across the border, pop in a CD because you don’t have international data, and for when you pretend CDs are still in style.
Shweta Koul — “JACKIE CHAN” by Tiësto & Dzeko ft. Preme & Post Malone
This is your basic summer jam. Cliché lyrics with a dope beat featuring an electric guitar. The beat builds up as Post Malone’s smooth voice guides us until the bass drop. You can dance to it, jam in the car to it, or make some gains to it. And it has a reference to Jackie Chan, who is arguably one of our generation’s favorite stuntmen. What more could you ask for?
Wil Aiken — “SUGARTOOTH” by Brandi Carlile
When I listen to music, I’m always doing something else — cleaning or something. Whenever this song comes up I find I have to stop what I’m doing and let myself get lost in it. The song deals with the suicide of a troubled youth, and it’s one of those songs where you can tell where it’s heading from the get go. Somehow, it draws me in every time.
Loukia Aydag — “ROARING 20s” by Panic! At the Disco
The album they released in June was phenomenal, however this song was on repeat all summer. The trumpets and extravagance of it sounds like what we imagine the 20s looked like: the Art Deco, everything elaborate and gold, and living life at its prime, with all of the underlying struggles hidden in the lyrics. Honestly, it should have existed to be on the Great Gatsby movie soundtrack.
Micah Greenberg — “SUMMER SOFT” by Stevie Wonder
This song’s lyrics about passing time and changing seasons are good, but they are overshadowed by the tremendous musical buildup and soulful vocals. I know of no singer who can appeal to people of all musical tastes quite like Stevie.
Aryaman Majumdar — “ARABESQUE” and “RÊVERIE” — by Claude Debussy
“How the hell can music be impressionist?” I used to think.
Claude Debussy’s “Arabesque” and “Rêverie” answered my question.
In nervous incantation, I turned to these guys. And they welcomed me. Like a cold summer ale or a warm winter whisk – or maybe like a long drunk text – they gave me comfort when no one else did – once again, reminding me that dead people could talk through music.
James Gunn — “FIREWORKS” by The Tragically Hip
This is a rock banger from ’98, just as old as I am. Touching on Cold War politics, brotherhood, falling in love, and Bobby Orr in nostalgic warmth and energy, this song is perfect for a day down at the dock or hanging out in the garage. Put on your jean jacket, jam to these 90’s-style riffs, and crack open a cold one with the boys.
David Schildkraut — “A LIFETIME OF WAR” by Sabaton
I’m a fan of listening to soundtracks from games in my free time, and this summer I got hooked on Sabaton’s “A Lifetime of War,” featured in the “Europa Universalis IV” soundtrack. The song is about the Thirty Years’ War, which was fought in Europe in the 17th Century. It really made me think about (and research) the historical significance of the war, as well as its on people and families.
Gabe Isaacson — “BUBBLIN” by Anderson .Paak
If the rest of Anderson .Paak’s upcoming album sounds anything like his single, “Bubblin”, it will instantly become my candidate for album of the year. “Bubblin” captures a liveliness and excitement that isn’t in any of his previous work. The beat is incredible, his rapping and lyricism perfectly captures the mood, and the music video is just plain fun to watch.
Tracy Xu — “GLORIOUS” by Macklemore feat. Skylar Grey
As the opening date of “Crazy Rich Asians” approached, “Glorious” rocketed its way to the top of my most played songs this summer. With meaningful lyrics and a catchy beat, “Glorious” by Macklemore and Skylar Grey is enough is make anyone feel on top of the world.