Friday playlist: Songs for when the sun’s out
The sun, usually a rare presence kept hidden by melancholic Eugene clouds, has made its grand arrival, its rays bursting through the air to land so inconveniently in our collective pupil. Without the usual, fluffy obstructions, Earth’s great star is liable to fill its benefactors with an elusive energy that draws little comparison. The sun’s gentle rays pry off what’s greying the mind, and we’re now at the point of the year where it’s most abundant. This Friday playlist attempts to capture this feeling while providing a blend of hip-hop, Latin-based rhythms, and rock.
“Everybody Loves The Sunshine” — Roy Ayers
This track finds solace in the sun; its high-pitched synth rests above the hypnotizing vocal praises like the sun’s rays lay above us as we proceed with our lives. Roy Ayers’ urges the listener to get on the same wavelength as him, leaving us wanting some of the same rays he’s clearly been getting. Even Dr. Dre’s character is shown jamming out to this song in “Straight Outta Compton.” If Dre’s feeling it, you know it’s good.
“Run To The Sun” — N.E.R.D.
N.E.R.D.’s classic debut album, “In Search Of…” (2001) was an impressive feat of blending hip-hop and rock using mostly electronic methods. The album’s seventh track, “Run To The Sun,” is perhaps its most playful. The song’s title suggest a yearning for an escape, even romanticizing it. For the listener, this “escape” is from the dreary weather, and we’d love some sunshine just as much as the songwriter. This track resonates with us and it also has a lasting imprint, heavily influencing the next artist on this playlist.
“Pelas Sombras” — Arthur Verocai
The energy of “Pelas Sombras,” it’s ecstatic rhythms and gravelly vocals can only be fully realized under the bright sun. Its title roughly translates to “the shadows” from Portuguese, indicating the presence of a giant source of light and maybe even warmth, sound familiar? Even if you forgot what the sun feels like, this song can do a good job of reminding you. It’s an orchestra, but Arthur Verocai makes it sound like a great rock band.
“Walking On The Sun” — Smash Mouth
Is it crazy to say that “Shrek” killed a potentially great Ska band? It’s not, as Smash Mouth would probably say. Before they became, ultimately, a meme, they put out some very respectable work. “Walking On The Sun” sneakily observes drug problems affecting the general youth, but the crunchy horns find a way to groove to it, as does Steve Harwell’s vocals, even though nowadays they’re not much more than meme fuel.
“Atomic Bomb” — William Onyeabor
Closing the playlist, we have the enigmatic funk and synth master from ‘70s and ‘80s Nigeria, William Onyeabor. His catalog is brief but inspiring. “Atomic Bomb” carries with it such an entrancing groove, fitting for rounding out a well-lit day. It sounds almost bittersweet, much like the setting of the sun. But over the near 8-minute playtime, it becomes obvious that the sun will soon shine again.
listen to the playlist here:
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