August 2021: Mid-summer is an ideal time to update a music library, add some new songs to the gym playlist, or discover a new tune you’ve never heard before.
From Top 40 pop, easy listening to disco, salsa and down boogie, here are 8 selected songs with a sunny mood to sample and enjoy.
Early morning soundtrack, lounging outside, road trip repeat, sundown special, socializing/get together worthy? Listen. Decide. Pick the song to match the summertime moment.
This month in music…Start sunset with a swing. The princess of Fantasy Pop keeps her roll going and wants to kiss some more. Music heaven Italian style. Joyful and stylish African rythm checks in. Justin Beiber is in the mood to share a story. London meets Brazil. Mexico does el Whiskey Disco.
Minimatic – Bongo Craze.
Electro Swing hasn’t gone anywhere. France’s head man of mixing the 1920s and 30s with a beat, Minimatic, is still serving up Mojito tracks and Prohibition tunes of the modern kind.
– Certified bongo rhythms with just the right amount of vintage hip sway.
Sounds like: Call and response vocals, a snaky beat, ragtime piano, flute, horns, bongos, and an old skool Beastie Boys hip-hop sample.
Grade: 8/10. Catchy and sophisticated.
Prime Time/ Best Listening Occasion: – Mid day or afternoon mood lift. – Sunset social starter.
Doja Cat feat SZA – Kiss Me More.
Last year, Doja Cat shook up pop music, and everybody’s Beats by Dre ear buds, with her disco roller skate super single “Say So.” 326,645,609 million YouTube views, plus countless Spotify streams later, she’s back. This time, feeling light and hoping to get more kisses.
– Slick, slo-speed nu-pop for Generation TikTok.
Sounds like: Guitar, airy vocals, a crisp beat with liberated Girl Boss lyrics and a tuneful verse from SZA. The official video goes one step further, featuring a daydreamy sleepover and trippy pink landscapes.
Grade: 7.5/10. Strawberry flavour pop music smoothie.
Prime Time/ Best listening occasion: – Daytime errands in the car.- Sing-a-long tune with Gen Z nieces and nephews.
Listen On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/748mdHapucXQri7IAO8yFK?si=94f3d095162e4f44
Watch Official Video: https://youtu.be/0EVVKs6DQLo
Papik presents Peter De Girolamo – What’cha Gonna Do For Me.
Something instrumental, taken from the Cocktail Piano Lp. Papik delivers (yet) another Italian Easy Listening masterpiece, alongside Peter De Girolamo. Lush, refined, elegant. All the classy words work.
– Smooth garden party, roof-top lounge soundtrack.
Sounds like: Pretty piano lines, delicate orchrestra strings, solo jazz guitar and a half samba-half bossa nova pull. Beautiful finish.
Grade: 9/10. 3 minutes 49 seconds of heaven.
Prime Time/ Best listening occasion: – Daytime. Night-time. Anytime. – Press play and float away on a cloud.
Emili Sande, Stonebwoy, Nana Rogues – More Of You.
Slowly and surely the Afrobeat wave is making its way around the world. It’s a contemporary style which brings together upbeat sounds, soul-like melodies and open, uplifting energy. Emili Sande and Nana Rogues connect with one of Africa’s finest, Stonebwoy, to produce a joyful boy-girl duet that’s grown and breezy.
– Contemporary African vibes.
Sounds like: Finger snaps, electro claps, cultured vocals, easy chords and shiny, layered studio production.
Grade: 8.5/10. Cool Savanna.
Prime Time/ Best listening occasion. – Sunny household chores side dish. – Picnic, BBQ, beach day theme.
S-Tone Inc – Bahia Mon Amour. (Drum & Bossa Rmx)
From Italy…with love from Brazil. Milan’s Stefano Tirone reworks his lounge bar & Euro cafe favourite, Bahia Mon Amour, into a fresh Drum n Bossa composition. He’s been producing and recording jazz, latin and soul since the 1980s and it shows. Lively, punchy and somehow still smooth. Tropical flavour with silky UK drum and bass.
– A Copacabana lite street cred approved jam.
Sounds like: Drum and bass dipped in bossa nova with pure batucada sounds, solo guitar and male, female Brazilian lyrics on top.
Grade: 8.5/10. Urban sound + rainforest flavour.
Prime Time/ Best listening occasion: – Amp up the cardio session. – Unwind to something different.
Justin Beiber feat Daniel Caesar, Giveon – Peaches.
Justin Beiber had to cancel his world tour last year. #Covid-19. He made up for it by releasing an album and taking a road trip with his wife Hailey. Peaches is the story of his cross-country adventure. A top 5 hit since it was released, Peaches has all the pieces of a relaxed, good time fun-time song: laidback beat, simple instrumentation and two primo R&B verses from Daniel Caesar and Giveon. In heavy rotation at every grocery store chain and outlet mall, it’s the all ages tune of spring and summer 2021. [Bonus points for the Jamiroquai inspired official video and bright orange suit]
– Sound good, look good, feelgood summertime track.
Sounds like: Slow tempo drums, subtle 60s keys, retro boy band vocals, easy Sade style beat, low key guitar.
Grade: 8.5/10. Serenade du jour.
Prime Time/ Best listening occasion: – Daytime work from home. – Summer wedding dance-a-long. – Road trip bop.
Hotmood – Brazooka. [Bandcamp Exclusive]*
Hotmood’s signature sound is sampled 70s disco loops with dynamic beats aimed directly at the dancefloor. He calls it Whiskey Disco. In case there are any questions about the vibe of this groove? A look at the record label thumbnail is a big hint. Brazooka is a “hands in the air,” “turn the music up dj,” late-nite dance affair which checks all the underground club tune boxes*.
– Guadalajara, Mexico in the building!
Sounds like: Hand claps, check. 124+ bpm speed, check. Hooky baseline, check. Hi hats, check. Clever breakdown, check. Chopped up (uncleared) sample. CHECK*.
Grade: 8.5/10 ProTools and Ableton present and correct on this “boogie down” groove.
Prime Time/ Best Listening occasion: – Saturday night drinks pregame. – An hour later on the dancefloor.
Frankie Ruiz – Tu Con El.
Facts: Tu Con El is among the top 5 “salsa romantica” songs of all-time, and one of a special handful of tunes responsible for the huge interest and revival of Salsa/Merengue music in North America and Europe. In Puerto Rico (where Ruiz is from), it’s an unofficial national anthem in homes and bailes across the island. Also honoured throughout Latin America, Tu Con El is a sonic salsa gem. Production, arrangement, congas, bass, trumpet and claves combine beautifully with Ruiz’s voice. The kind of song that makes one wish they spoke the language and knew the steps.
– Real salsa for those who feel salsa.
Sounds like: Lavish horn section, rolling bongos, graceful congas, timbales, bass, grand voices plus much more. Todo el Grupo esta aqui.
Grade: 10/10. Una gran bomba.
Prime Time/ Best Listening occassion: – Solo dance practice. – Tequila ‘n Tacos night. – Monday – Wednesday, Friday – Sunday.
Copyright (C) 2021. RaphaelClarence/LaSource Online. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Credits: Gingham Pattern, Public Domain Pictures. Gramaphone, Vector Stock. Minimatic, WIX.COM. Doja Cat, The Diamond Back. Papik, Second Hand Songs. Emili Sande, Live Nation. Stefano Tirone, La Rivista. Justin Beiber, Calchide. Hotmood, Deephousetehran. Frankie Ruiz, La Kalle.