By Cole Parkinson
Summer has finally reached southern Alberta and if you’re like me, that means it’s time to hit the road, roll down the windows, and crank the tunes as loud as possible. Summer seems to last as long as a snap of the fingers, so I figure you have to enjoy it as much as possible before winter rolls back around.
That being said, I figured it was a great time to share a few songs each week that I think you should add to your summer playlists. So, for the next few weeks, I’ll have a column going over several bands and artists, and songs that you may know or may not know. Hopefully, by the end of summer, you’ve found a song, band, or artist you’ve never heard of and you go on listening well past just this summer.
1. 1990nowhere – Kubrick
When I walked into Soma in San Diego this past November, I did not expect to walk out there with a new favourite band. I was solely going to see Tom DeLonge and Angels & Airwaves, and even mentioned to my girlfriend and my uncle that I really didn’t care if we got there early because I didn’t know anything about the opening bands. While the middle band was mediocre at best, the first band of the night blew me away and I haven’t been able to turn off their music since.
1990nowhere sounds like California to me and while they have tons of music that could be added to this list, I went with ‘Kubrick’ off their EP titled A Fever Called Living. The band is incredibly catchy and they definitely deserve some more recognition.
2. Joyce Manor – Gotta Let it Go
Joyce Manor finally released their new album just a few short weeks ago and there’s plenty to like on the 10-track record. The newest from Joyce Manor sounds closer to their first few records with some added polish. It’s short and sweet, but it sounds like Joyce Manor. I didn’t love their last record, so this one definitely scratched the itch.
While it may have been the first song released for the record, but I still think ‘Gotta Let it Go’ is the best song on the record. It’s just under two minutes but it sounds huge and I think it will be a live staple for Joyce Manor for years to come. The guitar riff is really great — it’s simple, but incredibly effective. It’s such a great song and should be a staple this summer.
3. Green Day – Last of the American Girls
After American Idiot was released in 2004, Green Day was once again one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Sure, Dookie launched them into superstardom, but some of that faded in the early 2000s, but that all changed in 2004. After several years of touring, Green Day went back to the studio and recorded the sprawling 21st Century Breakdown which was another rock opera. Just under 70 minutes, the record features some of Green Day’s best work, and while ‘Last of the American Girls’ may not be the most technical work on the album, it’s arguably the catchiest. It features tons of great performances across the board, and while I’m sure many would say it’s a simple song (which is true), that doesn’t mean much. Sometimes the best thing for a song is to be simple. This one deserves to be cranked to the highest volume while hitting the road.
4. blink-182 – Josie
Speaking of hard songs to narrow down, there are tons of songs by blink-182 that could be added to this list. With Dude Ranch being my favourite record, I figured I’d go with the fourth single from the record — ‘Josie’. This is a quintessential pop-punk song, and while it may not be their biggest hit, it’s still one of my favourites. It’s not overly complicated but it’s an easy one to sing with and the lyrics are relatable to this day.
5. Hot Mulligan – Drink Milk and Run
One of the rising bands in the alternative scene is Hot Mulligan, and I think they may have released one of the best songs of the year in June. ‘Drink Milk and Run’ has already become a top three song for me from the band and I feel like I need to play it every day. The chorus on this thing is so damn catchy that it just does not leave your head.
Their last record has tons of great songs, but I do feel like Hot Mulligan is really just hitting their stride right now. If this is any indication of what’s to come, I think Hot Mulligan’s next record will be massive.
6. JJ Wilde – Best Boy
Canadian rock and roll is in good hands as tons of great bands have come out in the last few years, and I think JJ Wilde is continuing to build a fantastic resume. Having seen her open for the Glorious Sons in Lethbridge in mid-June, I was enthralled with her performance from start to finish and right now, ‘Best Boy’ is the one that is on repeat. The thing about JJ Wilde is her voice is so powerful and her songwriting is captivating and I feel like this one is a stand-out.
7. The Tragically Hip – Courage
I don’t even know what to write about ‘Courage’ that hasn’t been said already. I mean, it’s a Canadian classic that has been played on stereos during the summer since it was released in 1993. The Hip are THE Canadian band and this song is already one of the biggest hits and how could you not sing along to it when you hear it? I know I can’t.
8. The Replacements – Left of the Dial
Does anyone actually dislike The Replacements? If you do, I don’t think I can trust you. They’re probably one of the most influential bands of the 80s and like every other on this band, there are tons of great songs to choose from. I’m going with my own personal favourite ‘Left of the Dial’ off of 1985’s Tim. I love this song so much and the arrangement of the song is killer. Going from soft to loud throughout the verses is one of my favourite parts of the song.