Einen wunderschönen guten Tag, meine Damen und Herren, und willkommen zu einer weiteren Ausgabe von The Summer Jam 2: Beat The Heat! It’s not often that one gets to use their mother tongue in an international setting such as this, so I had to seize the opportunity! And for good reason, too, as we are delighted to introduce Markus ‘Herbst’ Siegenhort, the mastermind of German post-black metal/blackgaze trailblazers Lantlôs, into the ranks of this feature. He’ll present to you his favorite summer songs/albums, so please enjoy!
Markus ‘Herbst’ Siegenhort
‘Summer. When it gets warm outside, I feel invigorated, creative and ‘special’. The air has a different smell to it as well; it’s somehow ‘magic’. And so big and mysterious. The sun, so much energy and an ethereal feeling. Summer is golden and green. And fruitful. But mostly ecstatic and positive. To me, summer has a primal force, but also a fascinating lightness which affects me and my temper extremely. I realized that pretty late; in the past, the heat did nothing but annoy me. Now it’s the season I look forward to most: baggy shirts, staying outside for long in the evening, looking at the stars, energy. Simply amazing.’
Julia Brown – “How I Spent My Summer”
Lo-fi pop, and it instantly affects me deeply. It’s so honest and direct due to this lo-fi sound. I always imagine some teenie who wrote a lovesong to his girlfriend on a cassette recorder with a cheap built-in microphone. Real tape-saturation and real lo-fi. The cover looks so self-made as well, I love that! Happy, blissful, dreamy and in love. With this song, I wish someone would have written and gifted it to me on exactly such a cassette with a self-made cover. The album this is from is called To Be Close To You.
Mazzy Star – “Roseblood”
In the past, I often rode my bike stoned in the beating sun to this song, which is why it has a desert-ish, heavy and slabby feel to me. It’s still quite sweet, though. Like honey – thick and oozy, but sweet. Very psychedelic, but with a hippie-vibe. I’m convinced that a lot of music from this ethereal area is heavily 60s-inspired; love and peace and all that. Just not as wild, rather more introverted, focussed and ‘vibe-y’. In any case, I see a very beautiful, aloof Hope Sandoval in front of a magnolia on a sepia photograph. Soft colors and stuff. Anyhow, it’s definitely one of my all-time favourite summer hits.
PVT – “Vertigo”
Also one of my all-time faves. I listen to all the same stuff every year anyway. This is a dizzy song and totally weird – the trippy synths, 7th chords and rustic sounds make me feel dizzy. It definitely has a somewhat colder summer sound,but also this certain summer-dizziness. An airyness, too. Man, I wish I wrote this song.
Nadja – “Stays Demons”
Mega-ethereal and trippy. Steamy air, overload, crystals. Just a sick wall of noise and bliss.
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
A bona fide classic, and without a doubt my first summer album. The album ‘taught’ me the exact fascination I now have for summer. I listened to this record in vineyards with good friends a lot back in the days. At first, I didn’t find it that cool, but then learned to truly love it together with summer. That really changed me as a person and left a formative impression. The album was the biggest, although not all that conscious, inspiration for the last Lantlôs album Melting Sun. And on top of that, it has a cool American college outsider emo-vibe.
Astrobrite – WhiteNoiseSuperstar
These are almost nothing but noises, but angelic and flashy. I like to listen to it to relax, and I always marvel at it relaxing me so. But between all the white noise is a soft heart and a warm blanket. With this album, I also feel somehow college-like, like an American teen. Deep and uncertain. I like that! Especially the one band photo of Astrobrite where they all lay together with their heads touching.
Deftones – Saturday Night Wrist
My night time summer album. Listened to it often with friends on the terrace when I lived in the middle of nowhere. Around us the vineyard and an open, red-and-blue sky with a few stars. This is my favorite Deftones album. Like I said, it reminds me of warm summer nights, clear skies, a bath tub full of sweet and sticky stuff in which you lay down, and a general dreamer-attitude towards life. And freedom.
Asap Rocky – LiveLoveAsap
Back when he was still cool. Deep and morphed samples, Clams Casino-beats and codeine-styles. A kaleidoscopic feeling, all coated in purple, artificial and sweet. Forme, it’s one of the most important hiphop records – a game changer that showed that hip hop/trap can be extremely trippy. Therefore the album is almost a shoegaze/ethereal record to me. Sure, people did that stuff before, but not as intense and great. Heard and got dizzy to it a lot in summer.
HUM – “Stars”
This also has that cool college-outsider-loser-feeling I like so much. And most of all, the song has energy! My other summer songs are mellower, blanket-like. From all the ones I mentioned, this is also the only one I know the lyrics to. Usually I only listen to the music and can’t concentrate on the lyrics. I also like the flat, bad singing; it somehow makes it honest and direct for me. A bit Teen Suicide-esque, probably because of the lyrics. For me, this is a cool, old-school mixture of emo/Deftones/Smashing Pumpkins, and one of the most important songs in my life.
Air – “Cherry Blossom Girl”
Air. I’m not really into them that much. I listen to Moon Safari every now and again, and except for the album’s hits, I just don’t get it. This song feels ‘grown up’ to me, like when the people don’t put so much value on clothes, are in their late 20s and are freethinkers with an airy attitude. At least I always felt like I was part of such a group thanks to this song, that I was a ‘man of the world’. A somewhat more ‘mature’ take on ethereal, but definitely sky-like and lulling because it’s so soft. By the way,cherry blossoms are my ‘favorite plant’ and a steady inspiration for Lantlôs. This song is my longstanding and stable companion in summer.
Lush – “Superblast!”
Again – the only actual good Lush song? I always wondered how they could have released one such amazing song and otherwise only boring stuff. In any case, it’s a powerful song! “Superblast!” fits so well as a title! I wish I wrote this song (and especially the title) myself as well…When I hear it, I feel like I’m six years old and it was my birthday (I was actually born in August, which is when the sun usually shines the most). Anyway, twinkling confetti, bubblegum, water ice, cake and presents in the backyard. Pure happiness and energy.
My Bloody Valentine – “To Here Knows When”
Omg, when I heard this songfor the first time, I was absolutely flashed and flabbergasted. So numbing, lulling and weird! Makes you nicely limp in the head. A world for itself and an absolute classic, like the whole Loveless album. It’s somewhat of a cliché that I list it here, but this song is something special. In an artificial, almost frigid way, it’s so warm and sweet; a bit like cold strawberry syrup. But also totally weight-and time- and shapeless. This is ecstasy/summer music incarnate, and since the first time listening to it, my view on music changed.
And that’s it! Literally, this was the last artist-chosen summer jam list of the year! Special thanks to ‘Herbst’ for being a part of The Summer Jam 2: Beat The Heat, it was great working with you on this. If you haven’t already, go listen to Lantlôs immediately, you’ll thank me later!
I’d also like to thank again: all the other bands/musicians who participated this year; the two guys over at Blood Music for getting me in contact with some of the bands; and, last but not least, my dear friends and colleagues of the It Djents editorial staff who helped me organize this feature. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without y’all!
I sincerely hope that these articles have helped brighten your summer a bit more, and that you had as much fun reading them (and checking out the music contained within) as I had working on them. Come back next week for the final installment, in which I will present my personal summer records of 2017. There’s gonna be a lot of cool stuff on my list, so be sure to check it out once it’s published! Until then, stay safe, and as always…
…thanks for reading!