So, as some of you might know as you simmer and brood away within your miserable, irrevocable lives in whatever dreary place you call home, I am currently on holiday in the island paradise of Hamilton Island, Queensland. Although I’m surrounded on all sides by water which is filled with an assortment of deadly creatures that could kill me faster than I could reach shore for an antidote, I’ve decided to keep a positive outlook on life, and look, once again, to music to be my saviour in my time of need. As the sun berates and scalds my body, and turns it into a beetroot shade of red, I present the top 10 Summer Holidays songs.
10. Jay Reatard-My Reality: This pretty much encapsulates one of the most common threads of summer holidays: someone’s dumb fucking idea to start a garage band. HA! After three weeks of you and your buddies sitting around getting high, strumming guitars and wacking drums, you’ll eventually give up and admit that perhaps your group is not the most musically talented. However, Jay Reatard took that idea, and performed a one man whirlwind of a garage band, turning that shitty idea into a career. ‘My Reality’ is one of his best and brightest songs, full of happy melody and thankfully abesnt of some his more weird endeavours. It still sounds pretty shit, and is totally lo-fi, but it more or less represents what every shitty summer garage band strives for.
9. Primal Scream-Rocks: Warning: this song is addictive. Boasting over the top bravado, a kick arse country-rock riff, and a style of verse that sounds exactly like Stevie Wonder’s ‘Higher Ground’, ‘Rocks’ could never fail. It harks back to the good ol’ days, where drugs were cheap, and sex was a-plenty, at least according to the lyrics. It is carefree as anything, and the horn/piano duo backs up this ragamuffin attitude to the absolute. Beautiful in it’s overarching, almost trying to hard style, it only works because of Bobby Gillespie’s adamant, drugged out attitude. It’s impossible not to swing and bounce to this song.
8. The Vaccines-If You Wanna: It starts of rambunctious, and it only gets rowdier. It’d be a great party starter. I can just imagine all the kids hanging out at the pool, ‘If You Wanna’ comes on, and everybody gets up and starts to groove. It’s just that kind of jam that harks back to the 60’s with that kind of twist-and-shout vibe, only with a modern production. It ticks all the criteria of a summer song: Constant, thumping bass drum, a rickety riff, jangly pop sensibilities, and it’s a carefree, love song at heart. It’s got a catchy as hell chorus, and it’s very teeange oriented. Hard not see it as an anthem.
7. Ball Park Music-iFly: You know if a song is stlyed after the iPod font that it’s going to be a hit. It’s also an acronym for I Fucking Love You. Jesus Christ, Ball Park Music were just begging to become national superstars. Not that they conformed their sound, or changed to gain mass appeal; ‘iFly’ is a stellar example of their groovy, quriky indie pop. It starts with a slide riff, and only gets better, with a beautiful backing female oooo’s and a gorgeously dumb lyrics and sun spotted guitar licks. It ticks off all the summer time activities: parties, drinking, puppy love (lust), and birthdays. It’s so catchy and adorable in the most cliched and fantastic way. It features a trombone solo for fuck’s sake!
6. The Dandy Warhols-We Used To Be Friends: Slow, techical buildup. Unfolds into a dreamy but ghastly verse. Fucking explodes into a party thumping chorus. This is the method of madness that The Dandy Warhols have shaped into their own. It’s tacky, it’s dumb and it’s brilliant. ‘We Used To Be Friends’, on a surface level, celebrates the past, happy memories of someone you love, in the Dandy’s case (according to legend), The Brian Jonestown Massacre, after a disaster filled tour throughout Europe. But it’s gt so much more than that. It’s trippy, physcadelic riff drips with passion and fulfilled happiness, teaching us to live in the moment and enjoy what we have, whenever we have it, because sooner or later, that will disappear.
5. Wavves-King of the Beach: The riff is jangly as anything, and carries the most loose vibe of any song I’ve ever heard. Everything is completely hanging out of place, and even the claps that echo after the chorus can’t do anything to help pick up the pace. That what makes it so great. It paints a picture of a day on the beach, where the waves splash over all your most prized possessions, drowning them to a worthless hunk of metal. All you can do is enjoy yourself in the burning nature of the beach, and wait for the sand to clear out of the crevices of your body before you can start to care again. As anyone who’s been to the beach can tell you, that takes a long fucking time.
4. The Flaming Lips-The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song: Psychadelic music has never been so catchy. Instead of the strange and obtuse, The Flaming Lips trade it all in on this song for an accessible and happy tune that beams with pride. Bragging the bravado of an over generic synth line, mixed with a tambourine, a vocal warper, a lions yawn of a guitar/bass line and even a Jamaican steelpan, the song is an eclectic mixture of instruments that just tend to make people happy. It’s nagging repititeveness should have been it’s killer, but it instead gives it just a wonderful vibe, probably due to Wayne Coyne’s amazing voice.
3. Best Coast-Boyfriend: Best Coast’s ‘Boyfriend’ is a personally interesting song choice for me. Initially I hated this song with a passion. It’s too simple, and there isn’t enough texture in it to create any sort of atmosphere or clamping attitude. It’s a really breezy track and just sort of floats along, with no real purpose or intention. It took me a while to realise, that this is where the greatness of the song was held. You can’t help but be lifted away by Beth Consentino’s dreamy vocals and her hopeful lyrics that are just straight up inspiring, and speak to the majority of teenagers, or at least teenage girls. You’d have to be an idiot to treat this song as some kind of holy bible speak. But can’t we all release our inner idiot sometimes, and just embrace the simplistic beauty of it all?
2. Regurgitator-! (The Song Formerly Known As): To hate this song is humanly impossible. It’s too fucking amazing. Sure, it might contain every single cliche pop topic and line in the universe, but that combination of cliche and loner weirdness that’s wrapped around it creates the lovable franchise of Regurgitator. You won’t be able to get this song out of your head for months, but I don’t understand why you’d want to. It has a brilliant chorus that screams for us to look on the brightside, and take to heart all of those summer time romances that are apparently so common amongst people. It cries for that human interaction, when is ironic, because the majority of the song is formed by loops, and computer work. Whatever, Regurgitator are fucking weird, and I like them that way. If you wanted a non-weird song, go listen to fucking U2.
1. Weezer-Island in the Sun: Could there be a more iconic summer song? With it’s a capella groove, ukele like strum and light, toned down attitude, ‘Island in the Sun’ sumarises everything that is great about the Summer Holidays. Whether it’s about the fantastic isolation you feel with a loved one, the warm feeling, both inside and out, of being free, or the knowing of being completely at home, ‘Island in the Sun’ has it all. And in case you think the song is to whimsical and straight forward, with Rivers Cuomo’s little peppering’s of ‘Hey, hey’ that start off cute, but could easily get annoying, don’t worry because there’s a fantastic, balls out chrous for you to look forward to. It’s a great jamming song, that is just packed with good vibes and free spirit.