Things have been quieter around these parts over the last couple of months. I went from posting to these pages two or three times a week back in August to averaging just a couple of posts each for the months of September and October. It’s been a rough year all around and my wife and I took a look around mid-August and realized that the summer was almost over. We decided to spend as much time outside as we could and tried to do things that would make things feel like normalcy was returning. All that being said, we’ve had a good couple of months and now, I feel like I’m ready to start picking up the proverbial pen with more regularity again, though nothing like the pace at which I had going prior to my unexpected mini hiatus.
I should point out now that just because I’ve been quiet here, that this doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening to music. Far from it. I’ve continued to spin records whenever I get the chance and I am often streaming new music on the Spotify while doing chores or while working away at the computer. And yeah, there’s been lots of new music released over the last few months, more than I expected to find in coffers when I sat down to try to put together this third part of my New tunes of 2021 series of playlists.
“Third part?”, you might be asking.
Why, yes. This is part three. In fact, this is my third year running, doing these multi-part playlists. Typically, each part collects twenty-five or so songs, representing the musical output for a three month segment of the year. You can go back and have a peek at the songs that made my world turn for the first six months of 2021 here and here if you’d like.
Otherwise, I’ll stop my blathering and lead you off towards some of my songs of summer. Highlights include:
- Drug Store Romeos have more than a great name, “Frame of reference” off the group’s debut shows off some peppy synth dreams worth mooning over
- I’m not all that familiar with Australian indie rockers, Gang of Youths, and I only checked out their new EP to listen to a certain Elbow cover but instead, fell hard for “The angel of 8th Ave.”
- It was “Scratching at the lid”, this dreamy but rocking first track that I heard in advance of Piroshka’s second album that had me looking hard and finally succumbing to that album pre-order button
- Angel Olsen has some fun with an EP of reinterpreted 80s classics but this slowed down robotic take on Men Without Hats’ “Safety dance” takes the cake for me
- Toronto artist Josh Korody aka Breeze has put together an album that sounds so much like the music me and my friends grew up on, we almost jokingly convinced my friend Tim that “Come around” was a lost 90s nugget
- “Heart land”, an ear worm the likes of which I haven’t heard from The Vaccines since their blistering debut
- And closing things off is Kurt Vile’s rip-roaring rendition of “Run run run”, just one of a number of great covers on the new Velvet Underground* & Nico tribute album, “I’ll be your mirror”
For those who don’t use Spotify or if the embedded playlist below doesn’t work for you, here is the entire playlist as I’ve created it, complete with links to YouTube videos:
1. “Personality girlfriend” Desperate Journalist (from the album Maximum sorrow!)
2. “Who’s your money on? (Plastic house)” Inhaler (from the album It won’t always be like this)
3. “Frame of reference” Drug Store Romeos (from the album The world within our bedrooms)
4. “End of the night” A Place to Bury Strangers (from the EP Hologram)
5. “The angel of 8th ave.” Gang of Youths (from the EP Total serene)
6. “Scratching at the lid” Piroshka (from the album Love drips and gathers)
7. “Romantic images” Molly Burch (from the album Romantic images)
8. “Animal” Lump (from the album Animal)
9. “Don’t go puttin wishes in my head” Torres (from the album Thirstier)
10. “Lonely” The Umbrellas (from the album The Umbrellas)
11. “Time walk” Bnny (from the album Everything)
12. “Anyway” Swim School (from the EP Making sense of it all)
13. “Safety dance” Angel Olsen (from the EP Aisles)
14. “Midnight wine” Shannon & the Clams (from the album Year of the spider)
15. “How not to drown (feat. Robert Smith)” Chvrches (from the album Screen violence)
16. “Come around (feat. Cadence Weapon)” Breeze (from the album Only up)
17. “Real pain” Indigo De Souza (from the album Any shape you take)
18. “Magnolia” Big Red Machine (from the album How long do you think it’s gonna last)
19. “Heart land” The Vaccines (from the album Back in love city)
20. “An acre lost” Sleigh Bells (from the album Texis)
21. “Days like these” Low (from the album Hey what)
22. “Is it light where you are” Art School Girlfriend (from the album Is it light where you are)
23. “Don’t hold your breath for too long” We Were Promised Jetpacks (from the album Enjoy the view)
24. “Head on” José González (from the album Local valley)
25. “Run run run” Kurt Vile (from the album I’ll be your mirror: A tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico)
As always, wherever you are in the world, I hope you are safe, continue to be well, and well, enjoy the tunes.
*If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend checking out Todd Haynes’ Velvet Underground documentary. It is excellent.
If you’re interested in checking out any of the other playlists I’ve created and shared on these pages, you can peruse them here.