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Emerald Recommends: Songs of the summer 2017

As the end of the school year approaches, students will be faced with their first issue of the summer: What songs make it onto a summer playlist? Although the Oregon weather has yet to fully remind us of summer, the Emerald has selected its favorite songs to help put you in the right summer mindset.

“Run” by Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl and his band of middle-aged rockers deliver a hard-hitting, head-banging rock pilgrimage with their recently released single, “Run.” The song, which marks Foo Fighters’ first release since 2015, is certain to be a favorite among rock fans this summer. After a slow and melodic intro that builds with Taylor Hawkins’s thunderous drumming, “Run” breaks into a chaotic verse led by Grohl’s screeching and distorted vocals. Despite being depicted as elderly men in the single’s music video, “Run” proves that the Foos can still rock. The band has yet to announce if the single is a precursor to a full-length project. 

“Link Up” by NxWorries

From its 2016 record “Yes Lawd!,” the duo of Anderson .Paak (vocals) and Knxwledge (production) combine to create a groove that captures .Paak’s suave charm. Throughout “Link Up,” .Paak flexes his self-confidence. On the track, .Paak describes stealing women away from their boyfriends with his impressive dance moves and smooth demeanor. As .Paak continues to flaunt his quick feet and even quicker wit, Knxwledge drops a beat that gives even the least coordinated people an urge to hit the dance floor. 

“T-Shirt Weather” by Circa Waves

Sometimes all the beginning of summer needs is a little bit of indie pop — the type with light, fuzzy guitars and lyrics about “singing our lungs out in the backseat together.” “T-Shirt Weather” by Liverpool, England, four-piece Circa Waves provides this exact vibe. Vocalist Kieran Shudall’s voice isn’t that special, but his half-yelling, half-singing provides the best soundtrack to wail over. With rollicking guitars and tidal drums, “T-Shirt Weather” is perfect for those sunny summer days when nothing is on the horizon but the ocean and some raucous fun. 

“O’ Be Joyful” By Shovels & Rope

For a rhythmic twang to kickstart summer, check out Shovels & Rope’s album “O’ Be Joyful.” Created by a husband and wife duo from South Carolina, the album tells love stories that come from off the beaten path. Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst describe the sound of two old guitars as “shovels and rope,” which coincides with the folk feel that comes from their music. This album is a road trip soundtrack and a swimming hole lullaby that is perfect for all that summer has to offer. 

“You Know How We Do It” by Ice Cube

You really can’t go wrong with Ice Cube in the summertime. Nothing gets summer started like the thumping bass line followed by the oddly-therapeutic synthesizer contained in the first 20 seconds of “You Know How We Do It.” The auditory stimulation in this moment is actually created from sampling an Evelyn “Champagne” King song from 1977 that has a similar hook, on which Cube spins his classic West Coast rap flavor.

It can be easy to forget about Cube the musical artist because of his more recent accolades as an actor and businessman, especially this summer with all the hype around the premiere of his BIG3 basketball league this June. So when you’re cruising in the sun around town this summer, take a moment to remember old-school Ice Cube. 

“El Mechón” by Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga

Let me preface this by saying I cannot speak Spanish — but trust me — you don’t have to understand Spanish to understand the vibe of this peppy mariachi song. More commonly known as Banda MS, the big-band group has more than 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify and is currently touring in the western US. Its hit song became a staple of the summer in the San Francisco Bay Area thanks to San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo. The song perfectly captured Romo’s frantic demeanor on the mound

“Love on the Weekend” by John Mayer

Despite “The Search for Everything” being a somewhat lackluster album, “Love on the Weekend” is the perfect mellow, love song for summer. This track has a dreamy feeling fit for a road trip adventure with someone special. 

“Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry

Throwing it back to 2010, this hit pop song remains an iconic summer single. It is just right for lounging on sunny days, dancing despite hot temperatures and simply feeling like a teenager. 

“Left Hand Free” by Alt-J

With the release of its new album,“Relaxer,” this week, this Alt-J throwback is a reminder of the band’s quirky and creative previous work. “Left Hand Free” fits smoothly in just about any summer playlist you can come up with. 

“Rollin” by Calvin Harris feat. Future & Khalid

The beat of this song is connected to a single image: cruising down an open highway along the Southern California coast, windows down and blasting music and smelling the salt air of the ocean. Calvin Harris continues to release incredible summer jams, like “Slide” and “Heatstroke,” in anticipation of his June 20 album. This smooth, mesmerizing song features R&B up-and-comer Khalid and rapper Future, for a beautiful fusion of electronic, rap and R&B music. Get ready for an album after three amazing singles, and expect “Rollin” to continue topping charts and playing at every party this summer. 

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Zach Price

Zach Price

Zach Price is the Editor in Chief of the Emerald. He likes to write about music and watch Trail Blazer games.

Reach Zach at [email protected]