Smile Politely

Sounds of Summer: Pygmalion Edition

Every once in a while us music enthusiasts here at SP like to catalog some of our favorite music for some of our favorite people (you). This time around we have compiled some of the new tracks from some of the artists that will be playing at this year’s Pygmalion Music Fest. It just seems that this year, more so than any of the previous, bands that will be coming through town have been releasing a heaping helping of awesomeness throughout the warmer months. In some cases, these tunes are brand spanking new. In others, they may have been out for a while, but damn it if they aren’t perfect for a backyard barbeque, a drive up to Chicago, or a float down what used to be a river and is now a drought-riddled creek. 

We like our summer music to be whimsical, driving, and at least a little bit happy. We know that the summer doesn’t always translate to a time when everything is just right. Heck, even the weather can be (and was) downright oppressive, even when the sun is shining. But the music that reminds us of summer should force us to recall the relaxing moments, the long days, the meals outside with friends, and all of the things that we love about spending time in this here community. 

We hope this playlist allows you to hold on to the waning bits of the season while helping you to prepare for what is going to be one hell of a Pygmalion 2012 lineup. Enjoy.

Lord Huron – “Time to Run”

This jam right here, this is the one. This is the song that has been playing nonstop for me over the past week or so. This is a perfect summer jam. It’s fast, it’s got a bit of whimsy, and it’s a lyrical smile. It’s like if you could hear what the double rainbow guy felt. Passion. This is the first taste of new music that Lord Huron has dropped in quite some time, and needless to say, it’s got me musically aroused. — Cody Caudill

Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

This is the second new track that Grizzly Bear has released from their new album Shields that is scheduled to be fully released mid-September. This is track is so much more raw and emotional than anything that they played on Veckatimest. The drums are killer; just absolutely stunning. And the layers here are sure to draw you into a head sway like none you’ve ever known. — CC

Hospitality – “Friends of Friends”

Hospitality released their latest, self-titled album back in January, but this single “Friends of Friends” was not meant to be harnessed by the shackles of tundra. This is a summery jam that lets it all hang out. From the first beat to the jazzy little horn line in the chorus to the raw lyrics of Amber Papini, this is flowery little summer jam that I like quite a bit. — CC

Frankie Rose – “Night Swim”

Frankie Rose released her album Interstellar back in April of this year, but this simple little track, like the title suggests, is fun and dark all at the same time. The driving beat that kicks off the song is the one constant throughout the dream-pop fuzz that Frankie Rose has made a name for herself perfecting. Fans of the Cure or M83 should dig this dancy little tune. Summer nights are dark and warm and, damn, does this music video make me wish we had a big, clean lake around these parts. But, like all of Rose’s tracks, her delicate vocals steal the show. Her little “let me go oh oh oh oh” is one cool breeze of a pop hook. — CC

Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”

This may not be the most “summery” release in the long career of Dave Longstreth, by a long shot, but love them or hate them, the Dirty Projectors have a complexity that I always find to be akin to the whimsical approach I try to take for the summer. Things should be unexpected and open if you have the time to afford such a luxury. This song is pretty constant on the surface, as the main beat propels you right on through. However, it’s the raw vocals, the haunting backup, and the sudden swells that keep you on your toes. As divisive as a band can be, the Dirty Projectors just keep doing their thing, and I think that fits nicely within the spirit of the season. — CC

Tennis – “Take Me Somewhere”

Seriously, from the moment I turned on Cape Dory for the first time a few years ago, and literally every single time after that, this track has stuck with me. For some reason, it conjures up everything about summer that is just a complete delight. When your plans are all up in the air during the summer months, it is kind of nice to just be able to go do whatever, as long as you’re enjoying the sun and some stress-free relaxation. Tennis does just that on basically all of their tracks, new and old, and I’m always just overcome with a sense of delight when I hear it. — Patrick Singer

Best Coast – “When The Sun Don’t Shine”

Very little surprise with this pick either. There’s no other feeling that can describe the sun being tucked away during a summer day than sheer disappointment. Best Coast’s lyrics and messages are pretty straightforward, especially when it comes to their debut record from a few years ago. There are plenty of others that could have fit here, but “When The Sun Don’t Shine” is a quick and easy way to expand on that feeling. The oh’s and ah’s throughout this track are just plain breezy and carefree — a simple way to make a song so pleasant. Plus, who doesn’t love cats on a beach? Seriously? — PS

Eternal Summers – “World’s Away

Simplicity is sometimes what works best when it comes to a summer song. “World’s Away” is just that — basically repeating the same little riff over the course of a few short minutes. It reminds me of how quickly some things rush by in the summer months, and how difficult it is to let everything run into autumn. This track is mellow enough to whisk you away, but at the same time, good enough to keep your attention. Plus, how can Eternal Summers possibly get left off this list? — PS

Craft Spells – “Party Talk”

Bass can act as a vital part of a song, especially in a band like Craft Spells. In most of their tracks, the vocals and percussion are blended perfectly into the background, just enough for the bass and guitar sections to really shine. Their mixing really reminds me of a band like The Radio Dept., who basically owned summer a few years back with “Heaven’s on Fire,” and there are many similarities between the two groups. This is really a standout track for these guys, especially when you can look at an album cover with blossoming flowers and enjoy their lazy sound during the heat of the night. — PS

Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill”

Regardless of whether or not you’re upset that Sleigh Bells ripped off “Can You Get To That”, it’s hard to not include this as a summery track. I remember when this album came out a few summers back and listening to this at the pool when I lived in Chicago for a summer. The sun was blazing during the summer up in the Windy City, but I didn’t care. I had some beers, a pool, and pair of headphones at my disposal. I didn’t really care about getting scorched, I just put on my sunglasses and kicked back to this track and looped it. — PS

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