Why hello there! It sure is nice to see y’all again; I can’t believe it’s been a year already since The Summer Jam 2 started. Anyway, I hope you are as pumped as I am for this year’s installment of our annual summer playlist feature, which goes by the title of The Summer Jam 3: Electric Boogaloo this time around. We have prepared another wonderful run of articles in which a select list of bands and artists across the musical spectrum share their favorite recods to listen to in summer with you, our esteemed readership.
To start things off, we have invited Mac Christensen, drummer/percussionist for international prog project White Moth Black Butterfly to compile a list of his, well, summer jams. Please enjoy!
‘Those are 10 albums that will definitely be cycling in my playlist this summer.‘
Minus The Bear – Ice Planet
The moment this album kicks off with those crazy, stuttering filtered synths it’s like being sucked through a time portal back to the summer of 2010. Immediately, I’m back in apartment 210, a mix of vanilla incense and top ramen fills the air, and Mike has just kicked down the front door, nearly breaking it off its hinges. Make of this memory what you will.
Thrice – Beggars
Thrice could’ve been this entire list. They’ve been experimenting with their sound consistently over the years and have been a major source of inspiration for me. Even though the sound we associate with Thrice’s last couple albums has been in the vein of alternative/rock/grunge, this was the album that immediately polarized fans with a challenging new direction for the band. I’ll be honest that it took more than a couple listens to really grasp me, but once it did, it’s now a part of me for life.
Modest Mouse – Good News For People Who Love Bad News
Desert drives in Arizona. This was a huge part of the soundtrack to most evenings I had while driving nowhere in particular. Just racking up miles on the car while racking up hours of introspection in my teenage head. I don’t know what to say that would encapsulate this band’s albums into a couple sentences so GNFPWLBN is a great starting point for anyone looking to get into Modest Mouse.
Ninet Tayeb – Paper Parachute
So, I actually had another band/album in this spot and had sent this list out to be published literally as I was on my way to see Steven Wilson’s “To The Bone” Tour, and Ninet happened to be opening…Immediately after experiencing their live show I was sold and knew I had to tell everyone I knew and as many people as possible about her and her band. Such a powerful, authentic and kickass rock and roll vibe. So this is a fresh discovery for me and I HIGHLY recommend you add this album to your summer playlist. You won’t regret it.
The Human Abstract – Nocturne
A metalcore masterpiece. This band was the pinnacle of what I was looking for in metal music at the time I discovered it, and was a pivotal album in expanding my musical tastes specifically in what metal had to offer. The musicianship all around from instruments to vox are all on point. A true lightning in a bottle situation.
Listener – Wooden Heart
This band is cathartic, raw, courageous, and pure energy. Here, that in the middle of all these indie genres tiring out and stretching to their limits, comes Listener and just changes the game as far as lyrical content, composition and, of course, delivery. Bridging the gap of spoken word, rap, and post-rock, this band is all its own and I can’t recommend them enough.
Incubus – Morning View
Incubus’s songwriting and musicianship are underrated. Period. That band’s ability to write songs with mass appeal, while also experimenting with multiple genres, time signatures and instrumental elements is an ongoing lesson for myself on how to construct my own music. They are able to write material that retains meaning and integrity while also touching on those human elements that make it relatable to a majority of listeners. I mean, is every song a banger? No. But when they hit home, which is often, they absolutely nail it.
Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere
Danger Mouse + CeeLo Green = magic. Every song on this album is completely different and completely fresh even to this day. It’s like a catalogue of masterwork production and vocal chops. Perfect for any sunny summer’s day.
CB Murdoc – Here Be Dragons
Pure madness. This is Meshuggah on LSD. The rhythmic passages this band creates are the definition of controlled chaos while the piercing lead guitar lines coupled with the at-times screeching vocals fry your senses to a crisp. Try out “Everything Is Going To Be Ok” or “Objecting Projection” and have your mind turn to soup.
Uncommon Nasa – Written At Night
I love Uncommon Nasa’s concepts. This album in particular displays a scenario I’ve thought of attempting myself from time to time but never followed through or tried to do it. And not that he actually made this album straight through from midnight to daylight, it’s just that the concept and execution is a dreamlike interpretation of how I imagine doing the same would be like. Plus the beat production is stellar. All produced by Nasa himself, and it still feels, even moreso, like an Uncommon Nasa record.
That’s it for the first episode of this year’s The Summer Jam run! Many thanks go out to Mac for his delightful list. If you haven’t already, please go check out the stuff he did with White Moth Black Butterfly; it’s great. Anyway, see y’all again next week for more recommended summer listens!