listening to music

Summer! Sun! Rooftops! Beaches! Whatever!

Summer is a time of rejuvenation. Time to kick the cobwebs out of our systems and start afresh with new clothes and skin pigmentation. Everyone can argue about their preferred seasons, but if summer has one truly undeniable virtue, it is that it’s the perfect time to switch up your music-listening habits and find some new tracks to play in the headphones at the gym or in your car on the way to your beach house. It’s time to have a blast, so here are some Spotify playlists to inspire some summer lovin’.

Late Night Tales + Another Night

Now that’s what I call music, indeed. For what it’s worth, I consider the British series of artist-compiled mixtapes known as the Late Night Tales to be the greatest compilation series. Ever. Who better to put together amazing track-listings of little heard gems and classics alike than the artists that were inspired by them. Zero 7, Belle and Sebastian, Groove Armada, Air, MGMT and Röyksopp are amongst the more high-profile mixers and they’ve all been assembled in one epic playlist of 3 days and 4 hours’ worth of music. Discover Kitty Grant’s “Glad to Know You” nestled alongside the film scores of Nino Rota, next to the breathy cathedral rock of The Troggs’ “Cousin Jane” and the up-tempo pop of Dusty Springfield’s “Baby Blue.” An amazing collection of over 460 tunes.

Mixcast 3 \\ Sun Was High

A great soundtrack to a barbecue is this chillwave-inspired playlist with its fluctuating song patterns and easy-listening vibe. The songs, like Jonathan Johansson’s “Blommorna (Nova Remix),” Tycho’s “Hours,” Amtrac’s “Fame or Shame” and Blackbird Blackbird’s “All” have enough of a beat and energy to not put your guests to sleep, but to also make sure they remember the music is there while allowing them to chat freely and just maybe get up and dance later in the evening. Would work perfectly watching the sun go down over the beach if you should be so lucky.

Boogie Terrestrial: Rare Disco Grooves of the ‘70s and ‘80s

I know disco isn’t the coolest of musical genres, but nothing feels quite as good as a great sunny disco track as you sip on Long Island Iced Teas or a gin and tonic. There are plenty of playlists out there with the usual suspects of disco’s greatest moments, but this particular one filled with undiscovered and under-appreciated gems is golden. It’s a wonder tracks like Lanier’s “25 Hours,” Pike’s “Good Feelings,” and Sandy Barber’s “I Think I’ll Do Some Stepping On My Own” haven’t been sampled. If Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories got you in the mood, here’s the real deal.

‘90s Dance Machine

Okay, so bear with me here. I know that perhaps the only genre of music more loathed than the aforementioned disco is ‘90s eurotrance – that bastion of music genres that turned the dense, bass-pounding beats of European dance clubs into mainstream hit machines that finally brought a genuine rave and nightclub scene to America. They may not have a good reputation anymore, but why not revisit the likes of SNAP’s “Rhythm is a Dancer,” Corona’s “Rhythm of the Night,” Madonna’s “Deeper and Deeper,” Culture Beat’s “Mr Vain,” Whigfield’s “Saturday Night” and The KLF’s “3am Eternal” and just try not to dance on a wave of classic beats and MTV-era dance party nostalgia.

Spring ‘14 – Best New Jazz

If your tastes verge more towards spending your summer nights in the air-conditioned cool of your apartment or house while sipping wine with friends or even just reading a book and letting your cares drift away, then maybe this collection of modern jazz is more your speed. It may say spring in the title, but as long as the air is warm and the drinks are cool then it doesn’t matter. And, hey, if you’re in New York, it’s not like we got a spring this year anyway. This collection of instrumentals and vocal tracks is divine and you’ll be a fan of Ambrose Akinmusire, Kris Bowers and Takuya Kuroda in no time.

Orange is the New Black – Complete Soundtrack and Looking (Music from the HBO Series)

Because you have ears, don’t you? Two of the best shows on TV have two of the coolest soundtracks, too. Much better than Grey’s Anatomy ever was, right?