In a stroke of luck, all of this lovely summer sunshine has appeared just after I have finished all my exams so I can actually enjoy it! So whilst I have been doing the Summer Reading Challenge I have also been enjoying some lovely summery music. I thought it was about time that I posted up another volume of summer listening.
1. Elvis Presley
As my house-mate will attest to, I spent most of our girly shopping trip with Blue Suede Shoes swirling round my head and I think it has something to do with the fact that it was so sunny. There's something about Elvis's upbeat rock and roll style that seems to fit with summer. I think it might have something to do with the fact that his music is used in Lilo & Stitch (one of my top ever films, but that is a post for another time!) which is such a feel good, summer film for me, so the associations are also passed onto his music. Obviously, Elvis had a very long career so there are some distinct styles in his songs, so examples of what I'm talking about classics like That's All Right, Don't Be Cruel and, of course, Jailhouse Rock. It's that perfect style of rock and roll that makes you want to dance around in the sunshine, as well as being great to listen to while you do other things.
2. Easy A Soundtrack
Easy A will probably end up with a post of its own at some point as it is one of my favourite films, but the soundtrack is perfect for summer. The thing about this soundtrack is that I probably wouldn't actually listen to a whole albums worth of each artist, but together as a compilation it just works really well. After exams finished me and my house-mate just had a girls day to relax, and as soon as we stuck this soundtrack on it just created the perfect mood. Very positive, good to sing along to, and doesn't take itself too seriously! Highlights are obviously Don't You (Forget About Me) and Pocketful of Sunshine. I defy you to listen to the last one and not pretend to sing along like Emma Stone!
3. Before the Amplifiers - Sister Hazel
Sister Hazel is part of a whole section of my iTunes that is dedicated to rocky male singers with lovely voices. Maybe one day I shall do a whole post exploring them, who knows! Sister Hazel has a slightly more country/southern rock style to the vocals which sounds really gorgeous when you strip it back acoustic. It must be said I am a sucker for a rocky male voice with an acoustic guitar. If you'd asked me last year what my favourite of their songs was, without hesitating I would have said Your Winter. However, now I find that tracks like Champagne High and Hold On are sneaking their way to overtaking it. Sunny weather makes me want to listen to quite mellow music, so this album has been played quite a lot as it has a more chilled out feel than if it was plugged in.
4. Nico Pusch remixes
This is a rather new discovery for me as I only found out about him last week! I was listening to a mix on 8tracks and his remix of Florence + The Machine's What The Water Gave Me came on. Now, I am a MASSIVE Flo fan and I really enjoyed this remix. Cue googling the name, stumbling upon the soundcloud page and doing some listening! Particular favourites now include the remixes of Alex Clare - Too Close, Parov Stelar - All Night, and Awolnation - Sail. I've been listening to him a lot while reading as they create a really positive atmosphere to chill out to.
5. Handbuilt by Robots - Newton Faulkner
Newton Faulkner isn't just one of my top summer artists but one of my favourite singers of all time. Handbuilt By Robots is my particular favourite album, just because it's the one that I know inside out and always puts a smile on my face. I listened to it non-stop when it came out and that was a time with a lot of change, but good change! In particular, Dream Catch Me was played a lot when I was first getting to know my now-boyfriend so it has a special place for us. It always has great memories of summer attached to it, meaning it tends to get put on whenever the sun pops out. I just love how even when he is singing about not entirely happy subjects, like I Need Something, the songs always manage to encompass a really lovely, almost upbeat vibe. I am a bit of a sucker for sad songs though, so my favourite is probably Uncomfortably Slow.
6. Bruce Springsteen
I can safely say that Springsteen stopped me going mad before my exams finished. The final three days between my penultimate and final exam were filled with me feeling slightly nervous and mostly impatient, so Springsteen was a great way of keeping me working. I can attribute this listening to the Nico Pusch remixes actually. He's done a remix of I'm On Fire which, whilst good, only serves to make me crave the real thing! Cue a whole Springsteen listening session and attempting to sing along to The River quiet enough for my friends not to overhear...
7. My Head Is An Animal - Of Monsters and Men
Last summer I went to Reading Festival and went to see this band without knowing anything by them, and it was a great decision. They are absolutely brilliant live. Bear in mind they were in the first slot of the day on the Sunday and yet there were soooo many people there to see them. They were just fantastic. I listen to this album a lot when I work, but now the sun has come out it is just reminding me of all the great times we had in the sun. I honestly can't list particular favourites because all the tracks are brilliant.
8. Songs of Patience - Alberta Cross
My dad recommended these guys to me and I have really enjoyed getting to know them! They have such a great bluesey, southern rocky vibe to them but with quite a modern edge. I don't entirely know how to sum them up, as might be apparent! I really like Ericson Stakee's voice, it is so interesting.
9. Shallow Bed - Dry The River
This is another Reading Festival discovery! I essentially tagged along to the bands my friend wanted to see and discovered a whole load of bands that I really like now. These guys are just so interesting and good! First off, the singer has such a gorgeous and unique voice. Add to that great harmonies, catchy choruses, and a violin! (Gotta love a good violin!) It all just boils together to create a really atmospheric and powerful, yet still quite delicate mix. Again, it is too hard to pick a particular track as they are all so great!
Well that's it for volume 2! Let me know if you've got any recommendations based off this list, or if you have any thoughts on the list!