Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another episode of The Summer Jam 2: Beat The Heat! This week, we’re extremely chuffed to present to you the ten favorite summer records of none other than Native Construct vocalist Robert Edens. Please enjoy!
Auras – Crestfallen / Mandroid Echostar – Coral Throne
Auras‘ Crestfallen EP and Mandroid‘s Coral Throne are eponymous with summer touring, for me, ever since my band had the pleasure of sharing many stages with them across Canada and the Northern US in the summer of ’16. Whenever I put these records on, I’m taken back to the good times we shared on the road together.
Trophy Scars – Never Born, Never Dead
Trophy Scars has always been one of my favorite lesser-known (and criminally under-appreciated!) bands, who ensnared me with their dark, dramatic imagery and David Lynchian story-telling. This band is like if the Twin Peaks sountrack were instead set to slimy, evil, psychedelic post hardcore-inspired rock n’ roll. Never Born, Never Dead tells tales, set in the heat of summer, of people narrating their own immortality. What’s more summer-y than an undying, jealous murderer running from the cops through the middle of the desert?
Baths – Obsidian
Baths is my go-to for sadboi, emo, depressive electronic pop. His songs are thoughtful, beautifully produced, full of interesting sound design, and of course, sad as hell. Nothing represents summer depression better to me than the dark stormy clouds of Obsidian.
Dan Deacon – Gliss Riffer
On the other end of the spectrum, Dan Deacon‘s brand of uplifting, electro-acoustic dance music reminds me of a carefree summer music festival, with all the trappings of revelry and lasciviousness. “When I Was Done Dying” is the standout track from this record, probably because it manages to capture all those fun feelings while simultaneously carrying the listener through a beautiful journey of death.
Flying Lotus – You’re Dead!
“Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” is my absolute favorite track off of this record. FlyLo and Kendrick are simply a match made in hip hop heaven…’heaven’ being coincidentally very relevant to the track’s material. You’re Dead! is all about that final journey, and tells the story in a wonderfully odd manner, in a way you’d come to expect from the eccentric, yet hip as hell, Flying Lotus.
Trentemøller – Lost
Trentemøller is such a unique electronic artist, having had his start in more traditional Danish deep house and minimal techno, he has since evolved his sound into including much acoustic instrumentation driving interesting electro-pop songwriting. The result is this unique sonic texture, full of stellar production and interesting sound design. Lost starts slow, as if the listener is waking up groggily from a long summer slumber, before being carried on a journey of pain and self-discovery.
Jon Hopkins – Immunity
Until more recently, Jon Hopkins was mostly known for his more behind-the-scenes production work, working on instrumentals and arrangements for well-known bands like Coldplay (“Viva La Vida”) – but he’s also been consistently putting out brilliantly intricate house, industrial dance, and ambient Brian Eno-esque records as a solo artist. Listening to anything he’s worked on, it becomes abundantly clear that Hopkins has a master-level grasp of the art of clean, hugely dynamic music production, and his dance music carries that skill along with a satisfyingly non-brickwalled approach to mixing. “Open Eye Signal” is the perfect track to evoke a deep, thoughtless trance while enjoying the Boston sea breeze on a warm summer night.
Nils Frahm – Late Night Tales: Nils Frahm
While it’s not technically a Nils Frahm record, per se, Nils’s curated Late Night Tales compilation is a great representation of the composer’s style and sonic texture-dedicated approach to composition (best listened to in its Frahm-produced single-track ‘continuous mix’ format). “Liquindi 2” is a recording of the native Baka Forest People of Southeast Cameroon performing rhythmic grooves using only their hands and some deep water. The result is a fascinating and well-recorded look into the steamy rainforest music rarely heard by outsiders.
Kimbra – The Golden Echo
Kimbra is my all-time pop queen. She has such a strong command of her voice, and coupled with advanced technical skill and musicality, she puts out some of the most interest-grabbing pop music I’ve heard. “Waltz Me to the Grave” has the singer saying goodbye to the world, reminiscing on warm ocean-side pleasures enjoyed during her time alive.
‘I guess my summer music taste has a lot of death-involved themes, huh? Maybe that’s what summer is, to me. As a kid, the season felt like the end of a year, before school started anew in the fall. Hopefully you can find some enjoyment and maybe a little meaning from the records on this list, as I have.
Couldn’t’ve said it any better myself! Thanks to Robert Edens for being a part of this week’s episode of The Summer Jam 2: Beat The Heat, it’s been an immense pleasure! If you haven’t already (for some unimaginably asinine reason) checked out Native Construct‘s fantastic début record Quiet World, make sure to immediately remedy that lapse in attentiveness/taste. They’re currently working on their second full-length, so follow them on Facebook to not miss any important updates.
See you next week for the next (and most likely last) artist-chosen summer jam list of the year. Until then, why not check out the other installments of this feature? You can find them here. Stay safe, and as always…
…thanks for reading!