Summer Bummer Singles

Technically, summer doesn’t start for another month or so. But with graduations behind us and temperatures on the rise, we’ve entered that bright season of weekends at the beach. What better way to kick things off than with some sad-but-fresh summer singles? Check out some of our favorite new releases.

Drive!Drive! – Scatterbrain

There’s something about this track that feels akin to early 2000s pop punk. Round things off with tight harmonies and blossoming synths and the result is a dynamic song that leans heavy on the commercial front without forsaking a bit of edge. Fans of The 1975 and The Band CAMINO should check this out.

Badlands. – The Loser

Even though Badlands. just started shipping out CDs for their first EP, they’re already two songs deep into their next cycle. This song is certainly one of my favorites so far, opting for a folk-like approach that reminds me of Logan Pilcher. There’s even a little lofi sentimentality at play as well. The result is down-to-earth and self-aware.

Social Animals – Blacking Out

“I’m staying and blacking out,” might just be the complete antithesis of what summer is about, so naturally it’s a perfect addition to this list. Social Animals quickly became one of my favorite projects with songs like “Best Years,” and Dedric Clark and friends have not lost their rank whatsoever with their latest tracks. “Blacking Out” showcases Clark’s “so-specific-it’s-uncomfortable” brand of lyricism, tackling topics like who friends will side with after a breakup.

Only Twin – Thirty Minutes

The electrocoustic eclectic pop of Thomas Dutton of Forgive Durden is back after a long wait. “Thirty Minutes” is a return to form after the duet stylings of “Pool Day,” and it pairs a choppy beat with calming piano and a background refrain of “Two times.” The result is one that manages to feel distinct from Rare Works, all while keeping some of the core experimental essence.

Ben Seretan – Bend

Ben Seretan somehow captures a sonic vibe that spans the like of Death Cab for Cutie, Queen, and Third Eye Blind all at once on “Bend.” Seretan’s voice contorts into innumerable shapes as he repeats the same refrain for the latter half of the song, showcasing his powerful range and strong dynamics.

Charles Walker – Still in Carolina

Last year saw a couple incredible singles drop from Charles Walker after several years of silence, and his return was about as strong as it could be. His new material shimmers with Americana and country influence, but there’s plenty of indie and emo ethos buried just beneath the surface. It’s been a hot minute since his last track, and I always get excited when I get that new release notification. “Still in Carolina” is a high-production powerhouse that overflows with backing banjo.

-ness – Two Left Feet

-ness is one of those strange bands with naught in terms of publicity; they disappear for extended periods only to surprise drop a couple new songs and vanish again. This time, it was actually a Bandcamp notification that tipped me off. While this particular song isn’t quite as much of a bummer as others, it’s certainly vibey in its own way. I’d love another proper LP at some point, but I’ll take what I can get.

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