Posted by Shamir Lee on 06/04 at 06:36 PM
Over this past week, I’ve had a few songs on constant replay, meaning every day I have to listen to each one at least once. They’re pretty diverse, a few dating back to the 80s, but somehow they all seem to be appropriate in relaxing me and distracting me from the heat that leaves me sticky and exhausted even from doing nothing all day. Maybe they can do the same for you.
1) Mummy Calls - “Beauty Has Her Way”
I was first exposed to this song when I was about 14 years old, a young high school freshman. My mom had gathered us around the TV to watch “The Lost Boys.” From the very first scene, I was mesmerized. It went on to become one of my favorite movies, as well as one of my favorite film soundtracks. I was going through an 80s music phase (which I haven’t quite escaped from). I could hear this particular song only briefly during the scene where the main character, Michael, is about to follow the vampires on their motorcycles. It can barely be heard underneath the dialogue, but if you listen closely, the magical instrumentals immediately grab your attention. It took me four years to find a full version, but ever since, I’ve called it my favorite song of all time, and that’s saying a lot. The lyrics are beautiful, exploring, in my opinion, a relationship where one is fully known by the other. It seems like the song is about more than just a romantic relationship…
2) Jeff Buckley - “Forget Her”
With the 16th anniversary of Jeff Buckley’s death passing on May 29th, and the recent (limited) release of “Greetings from Tim Buckley,” I’ve been revisiting his music. “Forget Her” has got to be my favorite track off of the Grace album. I had first heard this song when I was going through a tough time emotionally, so the lyrics resonate deeply with me. You can hear the heartbreak and sadness in Buckley’s voice as he cries, “my tears falling down as I try to forget. Her love was a joke from the day that we met.” He wants to forget her and tries to convince himself that he has. But the memory of her won’t leave his mind. His light vocals paired with a simple guitar melody and drum beat leads up to a climax near the end, expressing the frustration that will only pass away with time, as all heartbreaks do.
3) Jeff Buckley - “Grace”
“Grace” is my second favorite song by Jeff Buckley, so I had to include it on this list. It was the first song I ever heard by Buckley, and immediately he became one of my favorite artists. It has a heavier sound, while somehow still remaining light. Every time I listen to it, I feel like I’m in a dream. His signature whispering voice is present in this song, as well. However, his voice is still very powerful, reaching octaves that not many male vocalists can hit. The tone switches between joyous to mysterious. Towards the end, his powerful vocals kick in during the climax (my favorite part of the song), and lead to an abrupt end.
4) The xx - “Together”
The other day, I listened to this song over 20 times. I’m not exaggerating. For those of you who have seen “The Great Gatsby,” this is the song that played during the ending credits. I heard it before then, and I have grown more enamored by it over time. The lyrics are very simple, and the instruments used are very minimal (a signature style of The xx). Despite this, I still manage to get lost in the darkness of this somber song.
5) HAIM - “Don’t Save Me”
This song has a very 80s feel to it, although it was released only last year. HAIM consists of three sisters, who have admitted their love of 80s and early 90s music. This song is very playful, with hand claps accompanying the percussion in the background. The bass guitar is used so well, which is in line with 80s classics. I believe these sisters are bringing the 80s sound back, but they don’t simply mimic bands of that era. They add their own touch, which I think many 80s influenced bands are lacking.
These are just a few songs you can add to your music library this summer if you’re looking for something you’ve never heard before. They’re perfect for a relaxing night alone or spending time with some friends.
Author: Shamir Lee
Bio: Shamir Lee is a senior majoring in Advertising. She’s a writer for Penn State’s CRITIQUE, a student-run business magazine. Additionally, she has created ads and flyers for One Heart, an organization fighting against child sexual abuse. She’s interested in looking at cats, doing ballet, exercising, and ending animal cruelty. In her free time, she enjoys watching horror movies, some of her favorites being Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue and the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ("sorry, I just really like the cinematography"). Music is a big part of her life, as she plays piano, a little bit of guitar, and used to play saxophone. Some of her favorite musicians are Jason Becker, BUCK-TICK, Megadeth, Aivi Tran, Missing Persons, Nina Hagen, Prince, and Koji Kondo.
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