Summer is finally upon us! It seems almost everyone far and wide is caught in a nasty heat wave. Now that the season is in full swing, it's time to grab the coldest of beers, put on some sunscreen, toss on some killer jams and make the most of all of the sunshine. Of all the mixes we've made up to this point, I think all four of us can agree that this is the one we're the most pleased about. It seems the warmer it gets the tracks just get better and better.
Make sure to follow us over on 8tracks if you happen to enjoy the mix below. As always, you can learn more about why we've chosen the tracks that we did after the jump!
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kibbe, rocko, shey, & adrian
The Fresh & Onlys - "Yes Or No"
Coming from humble beginnings in San Francisco The Fresh and Onlys have released a decent back catalogue of music. We've not had a full length from them since back in 2010 when they dropped Play It Strange but later this year on September 4th they'll return with a new LP titled Long Slow Dance, via their new home at Mexican Summer. This track is the perfect introduction to the band and is the lead single from the forthcoming release. Check out "Yes or No" below and look out for more tracks in the build up to release. —Shey
Maximo Park - "Hips and Lips"
Maximo Park take me back to being a kid and blasting music out of my bedroom window in the summer months whilst jumping on my trampoline. You know, as you do. When I heard they'd announced a new album I was anxious, you can't help but not be when a band you like is making new music. What if you hate it? The led single from The National Health, "Hips and Lips" is as infectious as the classics. A statement and a band back on form. Paul's vocal delivery will ring around your head for the rest of the day after you hit play and I bloody love it. —Shey
Aesop Rock - "ZZZ Top"
About a week away from his upcoming release Skelethon, Aesop Rock dropped the second single from his forthcoming LP alongside an awesome fucking video (SERIOUSLY GO WATCH IT) for the tune "ZZZ Top". It's been a good 5 years since Aes' last solo outing and this time around he's solely producing without his buddy Blockhead or El-P for the first time. The album also marks Aesop's first solo release away from Definitive Jux (currently on hiatus). But no worries Aesop is good hands with Rhymesayers, who along with Def Jux were the top indie hip hop labels of the new millennium. However, back to the music, "ZZZ Top" is filled with filthy cut drum breaks, razor sharp guitar riffs provided by Dirty Ghosts and that signature wordplay Aesop is known for making this track one of our favorites. —Rocko
Cruiser - "Moving To Neptune" (from his Cruiser EP)
After discovering Cruiser through our good friends at Listen Before You Buy, I immediately loved the blissful, summery sounds of the Philadelphia-based solo artist. It's not just the feel good nature of his songs that stood out, though, but rather his fantastic instrumentation. "Moving To Neptune" is the perfect example of Cruiser's multi-layered approach, as he blends layer upon layer of beautifully timed melodic guitar riffs. The result is something so enjoyable to listen to. From the moment I heard it, it became a welcome addition to my summer listening. His debut self-titled EP comes highly recommended, so make sure to head over to his Bandcamp page to check it out. —Adrian
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - "I'll Come Back 4 U"
After a very successful debut LP, UMO drop the a taste of their upcoming yet to be titled for this year's Adult Swim Singles Program with the tune "I'll Come Back 4 U". The lo-fi psych rock tune may not be as funky as the group's well known single "How Can You Luv Me" but definitely carries that signature sound and catchiness that UMO is known for. After getting this wonderful taste, we are highly anxious to see what the band has in store for us later this year. —Rocko
Slow Magic - "On Yr Side"
Each release Slow Magic puts out impresses me more than the last, and "On Yr Side" is no exception. The song is just so crisp, with each pulse-pounding drum hit and every perfectly-timed synth note coming together in such a memorable way. The tone of the song deserves props, too, as it delivers a tense yet engaging experience, one that you will want to repeat over and over again. I don't know how Slow Magic pulls it off, but in no way am I complaining. —Adrian
Harlan - "Dirty Laundry"
Covers are a tricky thing. They can be yawn worthy if the covering artist basically carbon copies the orignial track, but if you transform it a little too much a lot of times the emotion doesn't get refocused and is lost somewhere. Harlan's cover of Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" is neither of those things. Harlan is respectful of Henley's work but isn't afraid to add his bits of grit, polish and funk along the way. Been following this guy for awhile now, you should, too. —kibbe
Alt-J - "Tessellate"
Alt-J (∆) have been gaining a decent following and gaining rave reviews wherever they set foot and with the release of their debut in May the ball is continuing to roll and build pace at a rapid rate. The album, An Awesome Wave, has been playing none stop on my iTunes recently and this track is a great little tease of what the album has. "Tessellate" has a bit of everything. Piano, funky bass lines and a big drum beat. Get familiar with this band. Plus, any band who share my love for triangles are cool by me. —Shey
Poolside - "Slow Down"
With the temperature continuing to rise in NYC I have been daydreaming up ways to beat the heat. My mind keeps wandering to the large pool in McCarren Park that just opened up. Since hearing LA duo Poolside's latest track, "Slow Down", every single time that I have the urge to go swimming this song pops in my head. Certainly the rather simple music video for the song didn't help any with having that thought drilled into my brain. Gotta say, pretty bummed that their album, Pacific Standard Time, doesn't drop until next week, I have a feeling this would have been perfect for the inevitable daytime summer grilling on Independence Day. —kibbe
Brother Ali - "Stop The Press"
It's been a long 2 years for Brother Ali who has been constantly touring and been working on his upcoming album Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color entirely produced by Jake One. The first single "Stop The Press" documents Ali's journey from the recording of his previous album US to the present and all the heartache and success Ali's been through over the last few years. Even with the constant touring Ali has been putting work all year with releasing various free tracks and an emotional but amazing (and FREE) EP The Bite Marked Heart amping new and old fans up for the release of his new LP. There's note doubt in my mind that Brother Ali is going to have one of the top albums of the year especially after hearing all that he's put out so far which has been nothing but natural quality music. —Rocko
Purity Ring - "Fineshrine" (from their forthcoming album Shrines out July 24th via 4AD and Last Gang)
This is the second time Purity Ring has appeared on our mixtape series, and rightly so. The Edmonton duo becomes more impressive with each song leading up to the release of their debut full-length Shrines, and "Fineshrine" is the perfect example of how good that full-length will be. Megan James' vocals are once again a highlight, as they deliver the emotional core of the song, but add to that the amazing production of Corin Roddick to make it a standout track. Roddick masterfully blends heavy-hitting percussion with the duo's distinct gothic synth sounds, seamlessly tinkers with James' vocals, and paces the song incredibly well. "Fineshrine," and everything Purity Ring puts out, is worth your attention. —Adrian
Dragonette - "Rocket Ship"
From their upcoming September 25th release Bodyparts, Canada's Dragonette dropped their latest single "Rocket Ship" for the world to hear. I can't explain what it is about singer Martina Sobara's voice that i find so endearing, but I never end up feeling bad after hearing songs from their previous albums or any of the other tracks that she's done guest vocals for. She always sounds so playful but sassy with a dab of sexy in it at the same time, much like the music that accompanies her. I still can't believe they've challenged their fans to create a version of one of the unreleased songs from the forthcoming album just based on the lyrics. If you're up for for it, you have until mid-August to submit something. Until then, I'll just be waiting for the new album —kibbe