Mars’ Hill Summer Music Favourites
Written by Bryce Perry & Erik Delange Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Near the top of the list in the running for album of the summer, Daft Punk returns with their first full-length album in 10 years and, ladies and gentlemen, it was well worth the wait. From the moment the first song begins all the way through to the final number Daft Punk explores with careful precision the line between slow and swanky, and adrenaline funky. While at times it almost traipses into cheesy territory with its perfectly crafted melodies, there is never a dull moment. If 2013 is remembered for nothing else, it will be the summer when Daft Punk got lucky.
Local Natives – Hummingbird
This is my personal favourite album of the summer; partially because of all of the moments it came on shuffle at the perfect time during chill parties, partially because of the amazing album cover, and partially because of the beautiful, transcendent, melancholy melodic waves that bypass the brain and head right into that sweet spot in depths of the spirit beckoning us all to ask the question “Am I giving enough? Am I loving enough?” And for this latest effort from Local Natives, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
When the first track of an album is titled “Obvious Bicycle” one might be quick to dismiss it as “hipsters being hipsters” but the latest offering from Vampire Weekend is anything but. Not without their signature silliness and playful beats, the most striking thing about Modern Vampires is its unflinching and sincere exploration of everything from music subcultures personified as a woman in “Step” to deep questions about God. On “Ya Hey,” Ezra declares “Through the fire, and through the flames/ You don’t even say your name/ Only ‘I am that I am’/ But who could ever live that way?”
The National – Trouble Will Find Me
As far as summer albums go, the National’s Trouble Will Find Me fits in similarly to the way most of their songs seem to suggest that the band members fit into larger society – just hanging out awkwardly, but not without providing us all with some rich insights and deep feelings. Trouble is the album that undergirds the rest of the summer joy brought on by the upbeat and summery dance tunes and grounds it in something real. Another album of summer that doesn’t shy away from spirituality, with a song like “Demons” declaring resistance towards happiness and sobriety and “Heavenfaced” offering a critique of rapture culture, The National continues their earnest and honest journey.