Summer Song List 2016: Tracks for Sultry Nights


Héloïse Letissier, a.k.a. Christine and the Queens

IT’S TIME FOR THE ANNUAL  summer song list, which features my selections of newly released music from the first half of 2016.   There is no particular order of preference, but I will venture to designate two tracks as my favorites at the top of the list. Use this playlist to discover new artists and broaden your library.

1.    “Tilted (Bayonne Remix),” by Christine and the Queens. Exotic young French singer-songwriter uses hip minimalistic instrumental backdrops, muted percussion, and modern improvisational dancers on stage.

2. “We’re All We Need,” by Above & Beyond. The UK trance-dance electronic band recast  their hits in a downtempo-acoustic direction with orchestral support on the CD Acoustic II. This track features beautiful harmonies by Justine Suissa and Zoë Johnston, two of their longtime collaborators.

3.    “Let Me Do,” by SHEL. Folk-indie music by the four-sister band from Fort Collins, CO, incorporates mandolin, violin, piano, electric guitar, and djembe percussion with subtle electronic elements.

4.    “All I Need,” by Astronomyy.  The young UK music producer offers a CD of beautiful tracks complete with reverberated vocals, six-string guitar riffs, layered electronics, catchy chord progressions, and beautiful vocals with backing falsettos.

5.    “Green Lights,” by Sarah Jarosz.  The brilliant Grammy-nominated song-writer and virtuoso instrumentalist has an angelic voice and nuanced lyrical talents.

6.    “Detune,” by Kaleida. Sparkling young female UK duo with synth-pop swoon effects is planning a first LP for 2017.

7.    “I Said It, I Meant It,” by Angel Snow. The Nashville singer-songwriter produces intriguingly beautiful music.

8.    “Supermoon,” by Case, Lang,  Veirs. Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs blend their lyrical song talents and splendid voices on this first album.

9.    “Lovers Still Alone,” by Sawyer Fredericks. Winner of The Voice singing competition in 2015, this young man has a future, for sure.

10. “On My One,” by Jake Bugg. The 22-year-old English songwriter possesses a unique voice on his mostly self-composed indie-folk songs.

11. “Barrel House,” by Band of Horses. Ben Bridwell leads this Seattle band in an indie-rock track that complements the very cool 2007 song “Detlef Schrempf,” which was named after the former Seattle Supersonics NBA star.

12. “Encore,” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The boys benefit from Danger Mouse’s collaboration that brings downtempo electronic elements into the mix, revealing another form of cool Chili.

Enjoy this splendid list of songs early in the evening on the back porch.