Happy halfway through 2017, everyone. Happy 2017 and a half. 2017 point 5, if you will. A short but fruitful hiatus from the blog over the last few months was appreciated as I transitioned into my first full-time “real” adult gig (and shed any residual blues from my first Minnesota winter.) With only 12 tracks to spare each month, I try my hand at selecting a palatable mix that floats across multiple genres—June’s mix admittedly sports less of that contrast, and instead you may find yourself in a subdued daze as 39 minutes of summer’s best new music paves the way with a dreamy, fluid soundtrack.
TLDR; It’s high time to dust off the ol’ headphones (or ideally, stream @ a responsible volume to enlighten coworkers) and welcome June’s #twelveon12.
(June’s 12 is now in the archive playlist below:)
1. HOOPS – “Sun’s Out”
Hoops just about slipped beneath my radar and this is me urging you to not make the same idiot mistake. It wasn’t until I had the pleasure of seeing the Indiana natives perform the near entirety of Routines that I understood how special this record, and more notably, these dudes really are. The role of lead was passed about effortlessly as the set progressed, the inherent synergy buzzing between friends who each share weight in breathing their songs to life. If you’ve ever met someone who seems to possess a magic touch, an unidentifiable “it” factor—welcoming and approachable, yet wielding an unshakable confidence that comes only from the feat of knowing exactly who one is—Hoops oozes this, and the thoughtfully produced, melody-driven debut Routines is an excellent expression of that right before your very eyes.
2. LITTLE DRAGON – “High”
While torn between sharing this track or”Guilty,” I realized by listening to the two in quick succession one can easily catch a glimpse into the breadth of both mood and talent that sprawls across Rocket. Listening to this record from start to finish leaves you thrashed about while simultaneously bewildered at the ease of which Alex G navigates you through his own realm of sound, all the while maintaining his signature sense of intimacy.
4. BIG THIEF — “Mythological Beauty”
This song is actually too good for words, sorry.
5. LORDE – “Sober”
At just 20 years old, Lorde holds reign over her own niche of pop, a serene well of novelty and experimentation dripping with nostalgia. With 4 singles to taste before her universally-anticipated sophomore Melodrama drops June 16, we have no reason to expect anything less than another exposé of her soul-bearing gospel. Despite the heavy Antonoff influence that polishes some of the rawness held so dear from Pure Heroine, it’s a icy splash to the face of the recycled mechanisms that permeate top 40 today. The edge isn’t dulled through this polishing, however—maybe it even helps set her talent on a grander stage; “Sober” is a big, bright light (namely, the brass parading in on the pre-chorus) illuminating the space she’s carved away, beaming out through sounds that strike you as extraterrestrial just as much as they feel like home.
6. GIRLPOOL — “Corner Store”
7. NICK HAKIM — “Roller Skates”
8. CHASTITY BELT — “Different Now”
9. MOUNT KIMBIE — “Marilyn ft. Micachu”
My first exposure to Charly Bliss came by stumbling across “Ruby” in June of 2016 and I’ll never forget the way even the first listen-through made me lose my damn mind. I also recall, after much deliberation, electing to exclude the track from #twelveon12 in fear it might be “too much” for the casual follower. This is me now admitting my dire fuck-up. I’m attempting to redeem myself by sharing another knock-out from their excellent full-length Guppy, out earlier this year in April. Every ounce of flight you feel from the unnerving volatility of lead singer Eva Hendricks is only balanced by your desire to flood even more of it into your system—the perfect marriage of ecstasy and excess.
11. HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF — “Hungry Ghost”
12. SAINTSENECA — “Book of the Dead On Sale”
It’s always rich when you put off creating things in order to focus on “real, important” things happening in your life, then start creating again and realize you had the two mixed up all along. It felt nice to clear the cobwebs and dive into the meticulous, yet satisfactorily fulfilling practice of crafting this mix. As always–thank you for your time, curiosity, and OBVIOUS great taste in sharing these tunes. Hope it’s even a fraction as healing for you as it is me.