The first day of August is a reminder to take advantage of summer while we still can. It’s still warm, it’s still sunny, the beaches are still open and the ice cream trucks are still rolling by. And yet, we’ve also noticed that these days are growing shorter, and we dread the knowledge that by the end of the month, most vacations will be over and we’ll be back at our offices and schools.
To mark this time of year, we need some solid, upbeat music ~ something to play on our boom boxes, back porches and iPods. August’s Singles Chart collects the best electronic, chillwave and post-rock songs around and asks the same question it’s been asking all year: why not play these songs on the radio? With a little push, any of them could be hits ~ they already are to us.
1) 36 ~ Hyperbox
Dennis Huddleston calls Dream Tempest “the most optimistic” of his works, and “Hyberbox” is his most optimistic track. This may come as a surprise to long-time fans, but it’s an extremely pleasant surprise. 36 has lost none of his depth; he’s simply widened his mood. We recommend the whole album, but this is the place to start.
2) sleepmakeswaves ~ Perfect Detonator
Australia’s sleepmakeswaves topped our chart in June with “Something Like Avalanches”, the preview track from Love of Cartography. The album’s opening track is even punchier, a 65dos-esque explosion of electronics and guitars. It could have been another #1 for the band, but we like to spread the wealth a bit ~ it’s only fair!
3) Chapelier Fou ~ Tea Tea Tea
We’re holding back the review until September, but we can tell you that Deltas is one of the year’s most ebullient albums, a cheerful platter of creative sounds and upbeat tones. Lead single “Tea Tea Tea” is an appetizer for things to come!
4) (exitpost) ~ Sweet Fade
James can’t get enough of this track, the title piece from Kenneth Herman’s new EP. Meanwhile, I’m enamored with “Going.” So we’ve included both. James’ pick comes first since he wrote the review!
5) (exitpost) ~ Going
Leading with a Chiffons sample, “Going” is a perfect summer song, tailor-made for weddings in Ibiza. The sense of anticipation is palpable as the listener waits for the full phrase to unfurl.
6) Huma-Huma ~ Hello I Like You (And would like to have a status convo mix)
With studios in New York and Los Angeles and hundreds of songs already under their collective belt, Huma-Huma has been soundtracking the world for years. New collection Theme Songs for Invisible Motion Pictures gathers some of their best work, including this summer gem.
7) Rumour Cubes ~ Seven Year Glitch
After a short absence, London band Rumour Cubes is about to return in a big way. Appearances of Collections is packed to the gills with organic instrumentation, including clarinet, cornet, cello, sax and harp. The sound is rich in timbre and incredibly engaging. “Seven Year Glitch” is the second preview track (following “Hiyat”), and we love what we’re hearing!
8) Pray for Sound ~ Decayer
Want drums? This Boston band is ready and willing to provide them! On “Decayer”, the highlight of new album Dreamer, the drums take center stage, stealing the spotlight from the guitars ~ but it’s a close call!
9) La Mar ~ Guarimba
More drums! This time it’s no contest ~ someone is going to need a coffee break after this, but it’s obvious he’s had some coffee beforehand as well! “Guarimba” is taken from La Mar’s sophomore effort, Tides.
10) FortuneWEST ~ Waiting for the Sunset
The highlight of this electronic producer’s third release, the Old Friends EP, “Waiting for the Sunset” provides a perfect coda to this month’s chart. It sounds like the end of summer, melancholic and wistful. Enjoy it while it lasts!