Mr. Always Write, Summer Songs

Is there anything better than rolling your car windows down in anticipation of feeling that fresh summer breeze, as you blare the songs creating a storyline for your season? That feeling is as unique and undeniable as our need for music. Here’s me doing my part to address the necessity.

Tuning In Together

First of all, it’s important to note that we may not have the same taste in music. Or movies, restaurants, art, television, sports, and so on. That’s part of what makes the world great, in that we don’t have to always agree or follow the same path.

As long as there is mutual respect for one another and an acceptance that preferences can differ, the rest is irrelevant.

On that note, though, isn’t it amazing when you get to embrace a new favourite (of anything) and then share those feelings with friends? What makes it even better is when their response aligns and simultaneously elevates your enjoyment.

I’m here to see if I can do that for you. Care to find out if your reactions will return the favour? These are the songs that I’ve had on repeat so far this summer, with no plans to remove them from my playlist.

happiness

John K

Being happy because it’s summer sounds like one of the more accurate cliches I’ve come across. So, of course, stumbling upon John K’s track that’s so aptly named would seem to embody those same emotions. I bet your ears and brain will have different takes after giving this one a listen, though.

Ironically, given this track’s title, there isn’t much happiness being conveyed throughout the actual lyrics. However, that doesn’t mean the sound it conveys can’t carry you in another way. Ultimately, I like to think it’s a plea to progress towards better times anyway, in that happiness is right there for the taking.

You Can Get It

Arkells & K.Flay

As a Canadian, let alone one born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area, it’s part of our passport renewal requirements that we’re Arkells fans. Fortunately, for me, I’ve been following them since well before that rule was put into effect a few years back. My wife (The Little Things) and I even saw them live in their hometown of Hamilton.

How do you not love everything these guys do? You can feel the hard work they put into their craft pulsate through the speakers, yet they come across as simply loving every minute of it. That’s a pretty good synopsis of this tune, too.

Shy Away

twenty one pilots

I’ve enjoyed twenty one pilots for some time now. Whether or not it was the after-effects of the emo phase we all seemingly went through at some point in our lives is beyond me. Yet, that stance doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon and I’m perfectly fine with that.

As much as I can get behind a band for sticking to their sound, I can’t help but respect when others find effective and innovative ways to evolve. That’s what they seem to have done of late and this song is a good example of that. Sure, it sounds like twenty one pilots, but it’s not quite the same as it once was — it’s better.

Happy Endings

Mike Shinoda (Feat. iann dior & UPSAHL)

Mike Shinoda has a knack for magnetizing fans towards anything he’s doing. Whether as a result of his social media engagement, displays of artistry beyond just through music, or simply because people still love Linkin Park. When he releases something new, you’ll find me listening to it.

This one’s not quite pop, yet you bop to immediately. It even feels like it’s supposed to induce sadness, despite a title like Happy Endings, yet the combination of voices involved and the rhythm that connects it all together does anything but put you in a bad mood.

seaside_demo

SEB

Feel free to blame TikTok for this one. While you do, though, can you thank them for me too? I love finding new songs in ways that are beyond just hearing them on the radio or being told what’s selling most that week. That’s exactly how I came across SEB.

How do you not just fall right into a summer vibe when this track finds its way through your shuffle? Before I saw the video, the journey this one sent me on made it feel like I was simultaneously surrounded by water, sunshine, and sand, while being completely content and relaxed. Far, far away from busyness.

Photo ID

Remi Wolf & (Feat. Dominic Fike)

Leave it to Apple Music to expose me to music I likely wouldn’t have ever found otherwise. And it’s not to say that Remi Wolf isn’t widely known already, but it’s just not the type of song I’d typically hear on the airwaves in my area. Luckily, I barely resort to that approach anyway.

I can understand if this one creates a response that leaves you curious at first. You’re not quite sure if that’s enjoyment or annoyance you feel. I had the same reaction. Upon further listens, it became clear that this song does a good job of balancing on the line of catchiness to the point of forcing more playtime.

Missing Piece

Vance Joy

Vance Joy may have come across as a one-hit-wonder to a more North American audience, after Riptide — released in 2013 — seemed to peak his popularity. However, anyone from closer to Australia knows that’s far from the truth. I suspect his newest will elevate his worldwide reach.

First off, kudos for a clever and fun video that intertwines what seems to be a serious and sentimental sound with the clumsiness of real-life love. If you chuckle throughout, that’s ok. But be sure to listen without watching, as it really is a beautiful song and deserves your undivided attention.

Last Train Home

John Mayer

It’s not that there’s ever a wrong time to be a fan of what we like, but I have to admit that my appreciation for John Mayer of late does make me laugh. It’s as though ageing opens up windows we never really knew could expand any further, because we kept relying on the air conditioning to keep us cool.

There’s no way it’s a coincidence that this feels, sounds, and looks like it’s straight out of the late 80s, right? Well, regardless, that’s the feeling it forces. It makes enjoying it as much as I do seem hypocritical, as that’s not typically an era of music that I’m drawn to. Yet, I plan to keep this song on repeat all summer long.

As Far As I’ve Come

Ferraro

What’s better than finding a new song that then lands straight on your playlist? Finding out that the band is from your hometown. As I wrote this, I noticed Ferraro is based out of Toronto. While I may not be downtown per se, the camaraderie this type of GTA affiliation creates is untouchable.

Sometimes we need to just crank that classic rock sound and let it sink into our veins. From the confidence that follows alone, it’s well worth the few minutes. That’s the exact reaction I had when I first came across this track and I’ve been passing it along through my circle ever since. Ready to get pumped up?

STAY

The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber

One of the more polarizing musicians of this generation, Justin Bieber sure knows how to move the needle. So, to anyone lucky enough to work alongside him, sit back and enjoy the ride. That said, The Kid LAROI does his part to draw listeners towards his side of things just as effectively in this one.

Is it possible to call a pop song gritty? I get that it’s been fine-tuned and produced to perfection, but they clearly hit the nail on the head here. Such a fast-moving beat that keeps you starving to catch up as you listen. Blend a few genres together, especially the parts you like most from each, and this is what you get.

What Are You Listening To?

Did I take you all over the map with the destinations from each tune? Good, that was the plan. It’s also an accurate assessment of my musical tastes, as I like to dabble across an array of sounds.

Far from being jaded, I pride myself on being open and willing to accept different sounds. I say that with purpose, too, as I’ve come across too many music snobs over the years. While it’s completely acceptable to simply not like a certain band or song, what’s not is when an irrational justification follows.

Stop calling artists sellouts because they want to pay their bills. Just because you don’t prefer the tune, doesn’t mean it’s impossible to appreciate. And instead of wasting energy bashing another’s work, move on so you can spend more time enjoying the things you actually like.

Pretty simple rules to live by, in a general sense, let alone help shape a more successful sound to your summer.

Now that you’ve seen my list, why not share yours with me? Pass it on, then turn it up. I’ll do the same.

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Shaun
Freelance thinker, paying too much attention to digital aesthetic. Oxford comma enthusiast. Spider-Man supporter. Sports fan, with two favourite hockey teams.