state of summer: six songs

by on July 21, 2014

Posted in: Music

Born and raised in Southern California, the land of eternal July, sunshine and good vibes, whose identity and mythology sustains itself on the dream of summer and refuses the existence of non-perpetually beautiful forms of weather (or of anything), the concept of actual seasons has always been fascinating and foreign to me. My high school years passed in 75 degree weather while I listened to Arcade Fire’s Funeral way too much and dreamed about banks of snow up to the rooftop of my house. But despite my pining for a lushly colored autumn or the white hush of winter, there is something about driving along a seaside highway under a lurid pink sun and the smell of warm wind and jasmine and gasoline to make you feel like if there’s anything California knows about, it’s summer. Here, it’s not just a season but a state of mind, a myth, a sound.

Here’s six songs from, in, or about California, which inevitably kind of feel like summer. If you want, roll down your windows and listen to them now, or save them for one of those weirdly sunny days in winter when for a moment, it could be June on the west coast again.

1. California Sunrise – Dirty Gold
for: the sound of seagulls, sandy eyes

2. Humiliation – The National
for: LA on a cloudy day, the smell before a summer storm, dusky highways

3. In California – Joanna Newsom
for: climbing pine trees, sleepless yellow nights

4. Fun Times in Babylon – Father John Misty
for: reckless debauchery, careless afternoonst

5. Novacane – Frank Ocean
for: Palm Springs hallucinations, candy and toothaches, house parties

6. Fortress – Pinback
for: lazy restlessness, skateboarding, air conditioning and cold sweats, cabin fever