Hello, everyone! Now that the last Monday of June is already upon us, it is time for the fifth installment of my series obnoxiously entitled “Monthly Monday Music Melange.”
Now that my summer class is almost over (it is ending on Wednesday), the continuation of my “Semester in Songs” series has been on my mind as of late. Creating a separate post about songs that have become associated with my five-week semester and publishing it after the completion of the semester would have been quite difficult, since my entire month has been dedicated to my class, and my general music-related post about June would include many of the same songs. As a result, I am combining both of posts associated with these series into one post; please forgive me!
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy these songs that I believe represent the month of June for me, both as a whole and in relation to my summer semester of college specifically (for better or for worse)!
“Coffee” by Sylvan Esso
Anyone who has read my previous posts detailing the songs that represent my two previous semesters of college will be aware that the first song I choose to listen to on my way to my first class of each semester is very important to me. Furthermore, in my post about my first semester specifically, I describe how “Coffee” by Sylvan Esso is basically a “hospitality staple for me.” Consequently, on the first day of my hospitality-related class, I chose to listen to my beloved “Coffee,” which I still have not tired of. The strong association continues!
“Brill Bruisers” by The New Pornographers
Right at the start of June, as I started spending more time outdoors, I realized that “Brill Bruisers,” which is a song I have been a fan of for a couple of months now, is actually a fantastic song for the summertime. The track, to me, is energizing in a way that allows me to release my nervousness; thus, I listened to it right before I conducted a site inspection at a hotel for a project of mine.
Also, I must note that I went through a bit of a harmonica phase, due to my love of the use of harmonica in various songs by The New Pornographers, such as “Myriad Harbour” the live versions of “Sing Me Spanish Techno.” Take this factoid as you will.
“Grant Green (feat. Charles Bradley)” by Mr Jukes
While writing a previous music-related post, I described my appreciation of Bombay Bicycle Club, a band that I have listened to for a couple of years now. Well, in case anyone was not aware, the band is on hiatus; I hate to break it to you all. There is no need to drown in sorrow, though, as the band members have some different music projects, such as Jack Steadman’s project, Mr Jukes. I had already been interested in this project for the past few months, so when I checked Apple Music earlier this month and saw that a new single had been released, I was quite excited to hear it. It turned out that even from my first listen, I was somewhat obsessed with the song, entitled “Grant Green.” Seriously, I could not stop listening to it for the rest of the night as I walked around my neighborhood. Forcing myself to take a break from the song then occurred, and I am still trying to find a balance with this funky song that will prevent me from tiring of it.
“J-Boy” by Phoenix
Phoenix is a group that I have known of for years, but admittedly tend to disregard, aside from their singles. As a result, when their new song entitled “J-Boy” was released, I did not react much, but after some time, I became conscious of the fact that it is a quintessential summer song, and I now declare myself a fan of it.
“Leave a Trace” by CHVRCHES
Being the pretentious poser that I am, I essentially refused to listen to CHVRCHES when the group was first brought to my attention, as they seemed like the kind of band that my high school peers would listen to, and thus think of themselves as “alt.” After I watched a video of The New Pornographers playing at the Pitchfork Festival in 2015, though, a performance of “Leave a Trace” was recommended for me. I had actually been seeing multiple CHVRCHES songs in the “Recommended” section for a while at that point, so I finally gave in and listened to the song. Immediately, I was captivated by Lauren Mayberry’s voice, and I could not stop listening to the song afterward. Yes, I am a couple of years late to this song that is wonderful for the summertime, but it is better late than never, right?
“Holland” by Sufjan Stevens
Yes, my friends, my perpetual Sufjan Stevens phase has continued through the month of June. With my huge project in tow, I knew that Illinois and Michigan would be wonderful albums to listen all the way through while working; what I did not anticipate as much was my love of “Holland.” I believe I was sitting in my room, digging through options for my project, when I realized how stunning this song really is. Ever since then, “Holland” has been one of my go-to songs for relaxation (and for bringing deep-held emotions to the surface, to be honest).
Also, I must add that “Get Real Get Right” sort of represents early-to-mid June for me, as I appreciated at the time that its wackiness was somewhat reflective of my mindset. And of course, I must mention the release of Planetarium; it is an album that has been fascinating to me as of late.
“European Oils” by Destroyer
As I mentioned before, I really became a fan of “Myriad Harbour” by The New Pornographers at the start of this month; this love led me to revisiting the group Destroyer, of which members of The New Pornographers (such as Dan Bejar, who sings on “Myriad Harbour”) are a part of. After little time, my two-year-old love of the group’s discography expanded, with songs such as “Dream Lover” and “European Oils” being highlights for me. In fact, I realized that Destroyer’s Rubies is a wonderful album to listen to while sitting outside and doing schoolwork. What can I say? I just am becoming a big fan of Dan Bejar.
“Power (feat. Stormzy)” by Little Mix
To be honest, I have been a bit of a Little Mix fan for quite a while now; their fun pop music and amazing performances have really impressed me. Consequently, when I saw that the music video for “Power (feat. Stormzy)” was released early this June, I was excited to see what it had to offer. It turned out that the song and its video were made with a very empowering message, which I (and seemingly, many others as well) embraced. Pop music is great…I cannot lie.
“Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” by Vampire Weekend
Now, I would be lying if I said that I am a new fan of Vampire Weekend, as I have been listening to them to a great extent since my freshman year of high school. Listening to my music library (and Vampire Weekend-specific playlists) while working on my large project led me to greatly appreciating “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” though. I mean, if I had sit inside for almost the entire duration of every day of June, I might as well have listened to preppy music largely about Cape Cod while doing so.
“Queen” by Perfume Genius
Of all of the songs in this list, “Queen” by Perfume Genius may be the one most strongly associated with the class I have been taking this summer. After seeing a plethora of positive reviews for the new Perfume Genius album entitled No Shape, I gave some of the record’s songs a listen, and let me just say, I became enthralled by them. Listening to the Song Exploder episode about “Slip Away” only increased my admiration for Mike Hadreas, and soon, the entire album (especially “Wreath”) became a staple for me. Around the middle of June, I also went back and listened to “Queen,” a song that I had heard in the past but did not return to much, and thus realized that it necessitated more appreciation than I had previously given it. One thought about the song that has been running through my mind aptly represents the greatness of the track: “Queen” makes me want to flip a table in slow motion. Anyway, as I worked on my project, walked around campus, and tried to exercise a bit, Perfume Genius songs such as “Queen” were often what I was listening to.
“Bike Dream” by Rostam
I have discussed Rostam Batmanglij’s solo music in posts before, and for good reason. I find his songs to be so interesting and captivating; thus, when I saw that he announced his album, along with a new song entitled “Bike Dream,” my somber mood was lifted. This wonderful synth-filled song is now strongly associated with my experience working on my project in my public library, which clearly means that I love it.
“Daendors” by Saintseneca
It seems as though I have just been rotating through Saintseneca’s discography and developing new favorites from them over the past six months or so; I just love this group so much. As such, one of my most recent favorite Saintseneca songs is “Daendors,” which is a great song to walk to, as I have learned over the second half of June. Which Saintseneca song will be my next favorite? Stay tuned to find out.
“Kill v. Maim” by Grimes
Grimes is an artist I have been fascinated by for a little over a year now, but admittedly, I have not delved very deep into her discography. While listening to a playlist on Apple Music entitled “Essential Feminism Songs” about a week ago, though, “Kill V. Maim” really caught my attention and held onto it. I believe I had heard it before, but for some reason, its aggressive and energy-boosting qualities satisfied a craving for me this time around. And just as with “Slip Away” by Perfume Genius, the Song Exploder episode about “Kill V. Maim” made me even more appreciative of this fantastic song (the music video is amazing as well, by the way).
“Physical” by St. Lucia
Once again, I must thank the playlists on Apple Music, this time for my discovery of “Physical” by Saint Lucia, due to the “Indie Replay” playlist I listened to while doing schoolwork on a recent Sunday night. (On a side note, that playlist is basically my music library.) Honestly, I was not sure about my overall opinion of the song when I first heard it, but my interest in it led me to adding it to my music library and listening to it quite often. Then, on what I believe was the following morning, as I was walking to my class, I came to a conclusion: “Physical” is essentially the sonic equivalent to what it would be like if someone threw my highly-caffeinated tea (which I was drinking at the time) directly at my face. Feel free to take such a statement as you will.
“Talking Backward” by Real Estate
Guess what? Well, if you guessed that the “Indie Replay” playlist led me to another lovely discovery music-wise, you are correct. As the song started, I felt as though I had heard of Real Estate before, but the song “Talking Backwards” was completely new to me. Quite simply, I found the song to be so endearing and perfect for the “sad indie songs” phase that seemed to be developing in me. Also, “Talking Backwards” has proven to be a great song to listen to while dramatically walking around a near-empty campus.
“Soteria” by Mt. Wolf
The “sad indie songs” phase continues! While listening to an episode of All Songs Considered, as per usual, this song described as “dreamy” really caught my attention, as I was so fascinated by its constant building and confessional lyrics (which I immediately felt a relation to). Being who I am, the song became another one of my new favorite tracks to listen to while walking. Can you tell that I have been taking walks a lot lately?
Another Side, Tell Me by Molly Tuttle & John Mailander
Another phase of sorts I went through a few months ago was my “progressive bluegrass” phase, and for a little while now, I have sensed a comeback; after learning about Molly Tuttle’s music via an NPR Music post just a couple of days ago, I knew that it would be returning in full force. “Another Side, Tell Me” is a gorgeous and pure medley that has kept me sane while finishing up my class, and in particular, this performance of the medley makes me oddly emotional. Not only do I find the track and the clear vocals on it to be so refreshing and genuine, but its lyrics are also so evocative to me.
“On a Freezing Chicago Street” by Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s
Say hello to this last minute addition, which is “On a Freezing Chicago Street” by Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s. Although the name of the group sounded familiar to me as I came across “Hello, San Francisco” on the Apple Music playlist entitled “The Places You Will Go” (an amazing playlist I found recently because of my odd transition from listening to bluegrass music, then protest songs), listening to their music was a new experience for me. I am already biased toward any song with Chicago in its title, but I genuinely find the song’s melancholy to be charming, and of course, perfect for my aforementioned “sad indie songs” phase. Along with my love of “Bookworm” from the same album, I believe that I will continue to enjoy this group’s music for the remainder of June 2017 and beyond.
So, as you all can probably see, my taste in music recently can basically be categorized into “pop,” “sad indie,” and “feminist power” (Sleater-Kinney has remained a go-to group for me). Furthermore, my life throughout the month of June has basically been dedicated to my class & its corresponding project, taking walks, and writing blog posts, of course.
Anyway, I hope you all have enjoyed this combination of my fifth installment of my “Monthly Monday Music Melange” series and the third post in my “Semester in Songs” series. As always, if you enjoyed any of the songs listed, give thanks to the artists, along with Apple Music and NPR Music (and tell them to hire me as soon as possible). I am open to music recommendations, so feel welcome to send them to me; perhaps they will end up in my next music-related post.
I hope you all have a great month!
(Also, if anyone could send me good luck in regards to the grading of the huge project I have been working on, I would be very grateful).