Culture Picks | Summer 2022 Playlist

Spring semester classes and assignments have finished, graduation diplomas are handed out and summer is finally in full swing.

As each of us enjoy what summer 2022 has to offer, whether it be through traveling or simply relaxing at home, be sure to listen to the playlist curated by The Crimson White’s Culture Desk.

“Music For a Sushi Restaurant” by Harry Styles

The first track from Harry Styles’ brand-new studio album, “Harry’s House,” provides a vibrant opening for the rest of the album. The funky, hip-hop ’80s style track is complete with ethereal background vocals, bright trumpets and groovy bass.

True to the title, Styles incorporates several food references into the lyrics such as “fried rice,” “coffee on the stove,” “ice cream” and “blue bubblegum.” The food allusions ultimately create the atmosphere of a sushi restaurant. The trendy beat will have one dancing this summer, perhaps while enjoying a little sushi.

“Satellite” by Harry Styles

The eleventh track from “Harry’s House” incorporates a nostalgic, trending ’80s pop vibe that transports the listener to another dimension, hence the title. The various synthesizers, background vocals and drumbeats allow one to feel as if they were floating through space.

The simplicity and uniqueness of the song showcases Styles’ rich voice and the sense of longing he has for someone—a sense of longing saturating the track. “Satellite” beautifully blends both upbeat and wistful melodies that ultimately creates a reflective mood perfect for a summer under the stars.

“Dream Girl Evil” by Florence and the Machine

Although some people may be getting tired of the “pandemic albums” that flooded the music industry after the COVID-19 shutdown, Florence and the Machine’s new album shines as a forerunner in the bold albums of post-pandemic music. The album, titled “Dance Fever,” is full of the haunting lyrics and vocals of singer Florence Welch, who sings of women dancing to death and the rage of women everywhere.

A stand out in the album, however, is “Dream Girl Evil,” a pop song with poignant lyrics about the way women are viewed in relationships and how women have to dig themselves out of these viewpoints. “Dream Girl Evil” depicts Welch’s slowly festering rage, while remaining hauntingly beautiful and is the perfect song for lounging by the pool while feeling powerful and strong.

“Bleach” by Isaac Dunbar

On the second track from Isaac Dunbar’s fourth EP, “Banish the Banshee,” Dunbar blends baroque pop, a fusion of rock music with classical elements, and subtle disco inflections into a refreshing, energetic sound that is perfect for the summer.

The song discusses Dunbar’s past habits of self-sabotage through stellar vocals and harmonies that add intricate flavor to the song’s already maximal production value, while always keeping the listener guessing where the track will go next. And as the song enters its final chorus and Dunbar repeatedly sings, “So, call me / like the lover that you are,” the song emulates a climatic movie soundtrack moment that signals the end of the story.

“I Like You (A Happier Song)” by Post Malone featuring Doja Cat

Just as the title suggests with the fifth track on his fourth studio album, “Twelve Carat Toothache,” Post Malone implements a catchy beat and a flirtatious chorus to create a “happy” song that resembles the production of previous tracks like “Candy Paint” and “Wow.”

On the song, Malone and Doja Cat rap and sing about a potential new relationship between friends with a lighthearted cadence that makes it the perfect song for strolling through the park on a nice summer’s day.

“We Go On” by the Avalanches ft. Cola Boyy, Mick Jones

Though released in the winter of 2020, “We Go On” from the Avalanches’ third studio album “We Will Always Love You” provides an upbeat yet melancholic score for the summer. The project is composed of 25 songs and features nearly 20 artists from different genres. Most of the album is constructed from samples, and credits over 30 individual vocalists, instrumentalists, producers and engineers.

“We Go On” is a funky, bouncy dancehall inspired track. With bubbly synths and grooving drums, the track is fit to make even the shyest dancer bust a move. Featuring a sample of the Carpenters’ “Hurting Each Other,” which is later interpolated by rising star Cola Boyy and punk icon Mick Jones, the infectious hook will stay stuck in the listener’s head for weeks.

Malibu by Miley Cyrus

No song captures the slow, infectious feeling of summer quite like Miley Cyrus’s “Malibu,” which was released in her 2017 album “Younger Now.” While it may not be the newest song, “Malibu” was written during Cyrus’s love entanglement with her former husband Liam Hemsworth. Although the love didn’t last, “Malibu” is a heartwarming love letter to both Hemsworth and the ocean, which she claims she didn’t love or appreciate before she met him.

With classic guitar and poppy lyrics, Cyrus illustrates the California city of Malibu using sunsets, currents, fish, heat, and of course, summer love. While you probably aren’t spending your summer vacation in Malibu, Cyrus will definitely make you feel like you are.

“Crash” by Charli XCX

In Charli XCX’s newest album “CRASH,” she takes listeners on a funky pop journey, complete with beautiful vocals and danceable beats. On the album’s opener and title track, Charli XCX details a self-destructive self-confidence perfect for feeling your best this summer.

“Crash” almost sounds robotic in the inflections of XCX’s voice, making it fun to sing along to or to just take on summer car rides with the windows down. Even if “Crash” isn’t your jam, the other songs on the album scream summer fun with an edge.

“Lots of Nothing” by Spacey Jane

Spacey Jane, an indie rock band from Perth, Australia, has mastered using their music to tell stories about living through long, lazy summer days while learning to be at peace with solitude.

“Lots of Nothing” appears on the band’s brand-new EP, “Hardlight,” complete with four other tracks perfect for contemplative summer drives. A gentle, swaying guitar and the heartbeat-like thrumming of the drums makes the song feel like driving fast while the world flies by. The song is perfect for the quieter, in-between moments of summer break.

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