The Bee Side

"If the world is so wrong, then you can take it on with one song."


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Searching for my next summer soundtrack

We all have them: songs and albums that invoke warm breezes, patio drinks under white lights, flip flops and drives with the moonroof open.

Summer music.

No other season moves me to curate my very own playlist of fun, sing-able, carefree tunes for patio beers and drives to the beach (and let’s be honest. When was the last time anyone talked about autumn music?) 

What qualifies as summer music is purely subjective. The Beach Boys, while beachy, is a band I can dig any time of the year. But Bob Marley is strictly summer for me. Years before I became a mom, I could not escape Marley on my Friday and Saturday patio beer adventures. I can’t separate him from summer.

There are albums in my life that remind me of summer because they consistently found their way into my boom box or car during July and August. Metric’s Fantasies immediately comes to mind as one – I had picked it up one spring and it didn’t leave my ears for months. The first Foo Fighters album brings me back to summer mornings in a basement apartment in Saint John, when I’d blare it while I was still living alone. So every year around this time, these records make their way back to my rotation.

But this isn’t a post about the past. Vacation time and lazier, schedule-free days are fast approaching and only here for a limited time. I have a stack of books I plan to read, as many of us do this time of year. Likewise, I’m looking for something light and breezy for those roadies to the beach and that long drive to Montreal in July. Here’s a few albums i plan to pick up:

Joel Plaskett The Park Avenue Sobriety Test

This one has been out for a few months, but I haven’t managed to pick it up yet. I have heard a number of tracks already, partly due to Radio 2. Plaskett and his beloved Emergency performed the title track at their magnificent Harvest gig last September and I knew then this album would be a treat.

I like that I know what I am getting into with Plaskett. The songs can either rock like this is his last stand, or they cut deep like your heart is being ripped in two at the realization that your crush just isn’t into you. He’s fun, he’s clever, he cares. And he’s walking down that same path of nostalgia that many of us at our age do.

Jenn Grant Compostela

This one has been out even longer, so I don’t know what the hell I have been waiting for. Jenn performed on The Strombo Show a few weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to catch her acoustic performance on a drive home from Halifax. Jesus, that voice. Description doesn’t do it justice, so i won’t even bother. It really is incomparable. And she is just a lovely person. Please watch this performance of “Bring Me a Rose” and if you don’t like it, ask yourself if you have a soul.

Dawes All Your Favorite Bands

I know very little about Dawes, except that the few songs I have heard I have liked immensely. So I am willing to give this one a try. They remind me a bit of the Wallflowers, if “Bringing Down The Horse” was sung in its entirety by Jackson Browne.

Metric “The Shade”

Yes, here’s Metric sneaking its way back into my summer soundtrack again! And yes, that’s a single. I was bummed to hear their new album isn’t out until September. But in the meantime “we got the sunshine, we got the shade, we got temptation, we got it made.” Emily Haines and Co. doesn’t disappoint.

So what about you? What will be making your summer playlist?