For me it’s just not summer until certain songs and artists suddenly start to become ear worms again, as if drawn through the ether back into my tiny mind by the sun.
They disappear as the leaves begin falling and if you asked me to write a top 10 bands I probably wouldn’t think of them. Then six months later, as the days get longer and sweatier, back they come from the sunnier recesses of my mind.
A great example is G. Love & Special Sauce. There’s something wonderfully summery about their sound, which is only exacerbated by his drawly vocals. It’s good vibes, chilled, sunny day music perfect for that festival feeling. The sound of people jamming late at night, but the sun still hasn’t quite gone down.
The music is funky and tuneful, a Philadephia sound laced with double bass and harmonica, but there’s more than a hint of funky hip hop in the mix too; it’s dancey, but not jump about like loons dancey – more wobbling about with a grin and a tap of your feet.
Another great example is De La Soul – a classic summertime band. They’ve got all the funk you need from a hip hop great, but without the ridiculous attitude problem. And its not the daisy age trappings that make them summery; its more of that classic laid back attitude mixed with a mellow party vibe.
The first time I heard ‘Three Feet High and Rising’ was amazing; I was working in a record shop in London and it was the year after Public Enemy’s ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions’ had landed. It simply shook up rap, but in the totally opposite direction. Suddenly there was cool rap that a) wasn’t ‘gansta’; and b) wasn’t shit.
But it’s not all about throwing your hands in the ay-a; all kinds of music makes me know it’s the summer again. Another classic for me is a taste of traditional, mainly because I spent the last twenty or so years involved with a folk festival. When I see the sun high in the sky of an evening, it’s easy for my mind to wander to drunken tented fields.
Of the many great folk closing bands, few beat Oysterband in my booze addled memories – and few songs have better closed a festival than ‘When I’m Up I Can’t Get Down’. Memories of jigging round fields to this always bring a smile to my face; even if the hangovers don’t. There’s an abandon in traditional artists you simply don’t get in other forms of music.
So yeah, for me it’s the music. Enjoy the weather – and the tunes :o)
Also check out these League members:
Music always takes me back to summer, especially G Love, just something about even hearing a song in the dead of winter can take you back to summer, and they’re perfect for that, probably helps every time I’ve seen them it’s been middle of summer.
I am no music aficionado but that G. Love & Special Sauce song is just about the perfect song to listen to while swinging in a hammock on a hot summer day. I’d love more recommendations along those lines. Should I buy that whole album — are their other songs similar in tempo and tone to Kiss & Tell?
I’d highly recommend the album this is from, ‘Coast to Coast Motel’, as well as the follow up ‘Yeah, It’s That Easy’ – my two favourites. This song is particularly summery – others can be dancier, or sometimes more shambolic, but you always know it’s G. Love. Luckily almost all their tunes are on YouTube somewhere so try before you buy – here’s another in the same vein: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti6n7FBqN0w
Excellent, you sold me. Got ’em both. 😉
Enjoy – no refunds :p
Hell yeah De La Soul!!!