There are some albums you always associate with summer. Those artists and songs that you first discovered on a hot summer night drive under the stars and streetlights or those songs that would always play as you went into your crappy summer job. Thinking about it, there are too many albums that I associate with summer. Most are from my early days of "indie" music discovery. You know, when there was still a Homer's at 132rd and Center and we all still bought CD's.
Some of the music I discovered was bad, but made a lot of sense to me at the time. I, like every adolescent girl coming of age in the early 00's, knew every Dashboard Confessional song (now major ick). I also went through a small ska phase here, listening to Catch-22 and Streetlight Manifesto (also kind of embarrassing to admit now). I actually listened to a ton of Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers - bands I still really enjoy today.
During the summer before my senior year, I went on a school trip to six countries in Europe. It was a crazy trip, I grew up a lot, realized how privileged and idiotic a lot of the kids I went to high school were, and to top it off, I became really familiar with my music collection. Pretty Girls Make Graves was one of my favorite bands to zone out on a bus to and try to fall asleep. It's really too bad these kids didn't stay around for too much longer because they were fantastic.
Once college rolled around, summer songs became party anthems. These were the summers of Head Automatica, Taking Back Sunday, Saves the Day, Jay-Z, Kanye, The Fugees, even Arcade Fire.
One song in particular always reminds me of the sweltering summer heat and even on the coldest of winter days, if it comes on my iPod, I can feel the hot, sticky, humid Nebraska air.
In the summer of 2006 I discovered the band Interpol, which, actually not so quickly became my all time favorite band. It wasn't until a drive back from a trip up to Minneapolis that I finally sat down and listened to the records I had purchased in their entirety. I started by listening to the second record they released, Antics. This album flows together seamlessly. The songs go from very rushed, fervent lyrics and guitar lines to quieter, more deliberate crescendos of sound and emotion. Then it was on to Interpol's first album, Turn on the Bright Lights. This album is gutsy, raw and absolutely incredible. Interpol is most often compared to Joy Division (hello huge compliment) but this album is quite different from any of the Joy Division I had heard. Listening to the album, you can tell there was some planning here, but mostly the songs and sounds seem so organic they just spread from your ears to your brain, all the way down to your stomach.
So which Interpol song do I most associate with Summer? A little ditty by the name of NYC. Whenever I'm complaining about how hot it is here in Nebraska, I always imagine how much hotter must feel in New York City with the sun reflecting off the payment, the smell of the hot city, etc. NYC is a slow song that builds to a powerful ending. I'll admit I've teared up multiple times when the line "It's up to me now, turn on the bright lights" starts. It's an evocative lyric. Take a listen here -
What songs remind you of summer?