Ahh, that heady post-Independence Day hangover when we all realize that summer is pretty much mostly over, and we’re closer to Labor Day than we are to Memorial Day, autumn, winter, snow and seasonal affective disorder and…
Maybe that great long-weekend fling hasn’t called back, or won’t quit calling. Maybe you just realized you’ve binged on the last good new season of TV that’s going to be out between now and fall. Maybe it’s just dawned on you that this has been the absolute worst summer for pop music since Mozart had that really rough season after The Magic Flute.
Fear not! We have the perfect playlist for a sticky, sweltering season of existential crisis. If last week’s July 4th party playlist was the stimulant, here is your aural narcotic. Pour a stiff one, and let’s all come down together, shall we?
You can either play the entire playlist on the video below or browse the videos one-by-one. Either way, enjoy!
1. Greg Holden – “Boys in the Street”
I apologize for leading off the playlist with a depressing song about a father who won’t accept his gay son, but, really, there aren’t any sadder songs than this one on the list. Scottish cutie Greg Holden — who is straight — may be a new name to you, but he’s been writing music for some time, even penning Phillip Phillips’ hit “Home.” His voice is a lot like Michael David Rosenberg’s, who you might know as Passenger.
2. Tove Lo – “Timebomb”
Fantastic mess, Tove Lo, has apparently had the exact same dating history I’ve had. These lyrics, though. Ugh. But, it’s catchy. And her boyfriend in this video is pretty much the hottest man I’ve ever seen. There are gay and lesbian couples in the video too. You know, so, she’s like an ally or something. Tove Lo,—I’ma let you finish — but Kylie had the best song called “Timebomb” ever.
3. Miss Fame – “Instafame”
Miss Fame was my least favorite semi-semi-semi-semi-finalist on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and in this video, she moves about as naturally and gracefully as a 14-year-old English Bulldog with a broken leg and arthritis, but she is the most glamorous looking cowgirl I’ve ever set my eyes upon. And if you close your eyes, the song is pretty good.
4. Tanlines – “Palace”
Natasha Lyonne. I’d totally go bi for her. Even if she seems to bring on the deaths of the members of this indie electronic duo (one of which is apparently Ray from Girls?) over and over and over in this quasi-dadaist video.
5. Lianne La Havas – “What You Don’t Do”
Soulful babymaking music, boyo — get into it.
6. Tinashe – “Cold Sweat”
Um… if your only exposure to Tinashe is that putrid disposable piece of refuse, “All Hands On Deck,” you won’t know what the heck is happening in your ears and eyes. This is more FKA Twigs than bubble gum. Original. Sexy. Subversive. Sexy. Weird. Sexy.
Lyrically, she manages to make me feel simultaneously claustrophobic and agoraphobic. Those vocals, though! I think just watching it got me stoned. Which made me want to heat up a burrito watch it more. I watched it like six times in a row, and now I can hear yellow. Tinashe, keep it up.
7. Shura – “White Light”
Oh, you need something a bit dancier? And you want to watch someone who kind of looks like Aimee Mann in her ‘Til Tuesday days in some sort of secret, alien Cylon affair with a knockoff Ryan Gosling? But you don’t want to get too far away from pensive and atmospheric? Well hush hush, Mouseketeer; here you go.
8. HONNE – “Top To Toe”
Keep your body moving. With beards this time. In Germany. Just so you know, they’re not just hot, they’re also into some weird kinky stuff. Woof!
9. Róisín Murphy – “Evil Eyes”
I don’t understand why Róisín Murphy isn’t the biggest thing ever. Here she is, being incredible in her own surreal, minimalist post-modern adaptation of the feminist short horror story The Yellow Wallpaper meets the Louds, America’s first-ever reality TV family. Where miss Murphy best shines is in her restraint —Xtina she is not. She judiciously rations her vocals on this persistent New Wave jam.
10. On and On – “It’s Not Over”
Probably the most straightforward indie dance song on this list. The video is so cheesy and cheap on first blush, you’ll hate it. Then you’ll love it. Well, you’ll love it, if you have a heart and don’t hate America. Terrorist.
11. SPORTS – “You Are The Right One”
Oh hey, hipster. Nice video. Did you make it on your dad’s old JVC VHS camcorder? How twee.