Posted by: pop-break | May 28, 2013

The Singles Party: Summer Jams Special Edition

the gang looks at their favorite summertime songs…

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Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone and here on the East Coast that can mean only one thing — summer has officially begun. This week some of the crew at The Singles Party would like to share their favorite summer jams with you. These songs are special to us because they define our summer, they score our drives along the beach with our friends, they soundtrack the sweaty days where everything smells like suntan lotion and the windows are rolled down. So sit back, relax, crack a longneck of your favorite summer brew and get that Spotify or iTunes playlist ready because we’ve got some good ones for you.

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Kelly Gonsalves: When it comes to summer jams, I always turn with confidence and pride to my long list of ever-adored guilty pleasure pop punk bands, particularly the arguable kings of the genre: All Time Low, one of my “all time favorites,” if you will. The song that’s been on repeat for the last two months for me is “The Reckless and the Brave,” the strong opener of their latest album Don’t Panic that came out this past October. Its charm is encapsulated in the title: a youthful, high-energy anthem for rebellious adolescents geared for bad decisions and proud of it. The band succeeds in dipping their toes into the mainstream pop sound just enough to set the mood while still staying true to their pop punk identity, with Alex Gaskarth’s right-through-the-roof vocals, chaotic drumming as the song’s backbone, and a conscious effort at interesting rifts through the second verse and chorus that distinguish this album from its rather lacking last two predecessors. If you’re willing to let loose and embrace the shameless erratic teenager in you, this will 100% be one of the most pumping tracks on your summer playlist.

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Lauren Stern: Picking one personal favorite summer jam is really hard for me, because there’s so many great songs that remind me of this time of year. Plus, I ALWAYS have an inkling to listen to Best Coast’s album “Crazy For You” for the majority of the summer, just because Bethany Consentino always makes me want to roll the windows down and cruise to the beach.

But since we can only choose just one song and not 10 songs that sound like one, I’m going to pick one that still features my favorite summer singer, in addition to some other artists I deeply respect and love pretty much all times of the year. That being said, my song of choice for this summer and all summers is: “All Summer” by Kid Cudi feat. Bethany Consentino (Best Coast) and Rostam (Vampire Weekend).

Now I know this may seem like a cop out of sorts because “All Summer” is literally about enjoying the hanging outside or at the beach, doing nothing but enjoying the summer sunshine, but to me it’s more than just the literal meaning. Maybe it’s Cudi’s laid back and relaxed tone or the fact that Consentino always puts me in a summer mood (ha a Best Coast pun!), but I always hear it and get the urge to head down to the Jersey Shore for the day or to swing by the pool for just a few hours. It’s just the perfect “summer fun” song and the only song that I have the urge to play during one part of the year.

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Nick Porcaro: If D minor is the saddest of all keys—as Nigel Tufnel so astutely observed in This is Spinal Tap—then surely E major must be the happiest. And that’s what we get a load of in “Steal My Sunshine,” the late ’90s classic from Canadian one-hit wonders Len. Its impeccably looped disco sample is second only to the adorable call-and-response vocals of sibling duo Marc and Sharon Costanzo. The band nearly left its only hit off the album, mistaking the song’s lightweight nature and good vibes for a lack of substance. We should be thankful they came to their senses; as it stands, three chords and a sweet tooth is the perfect recipe for summer single bliss.

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Bill Bodkin: There is no song I play more in the summertime than Donavon Frankenreiter’s “Move by Yourself.” I had this song almost on non-stop loop when I went to Hawaii five years ago and every summer I make a mix with this track as the first song. Believe it or not, this first time I heard this wonderful mash-up of blue-eyed soul and white boy funk was at The Nordstrom in Freehold Mall in early ’08 while my girlfriend (now wife) was shopping in the Brass Plum section of the store. They often play music videos on the TVs, and while my lady was off in search of that ever-elusive “cute top,” I was struck by soulful vocals, infectious energy and Hammond-organ-laden grooves. I instantly fell in love with this song created by the surfer turned Jack Johnson acolyte. In fact, this is the only song I’ve heard by Frankenreiter, and that’s perfectly fine by me. This song makes you want to dance, it’s so beachy that it makes you want to run out in flip flops amidst six-foot snow drifts.

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