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The Pop Culture Wing of Hot Corner Harbor

Monday, September 11, 2023

Music Monday: Summer 2023 Playlist

Happy Music Monday! It’s once again time for a playlist!

As I mentioned in my last playlist article back in May, this year I’m splitting my normal massive End-of-Summer Playlist into two smaller ones, with this one roughly covering music I found from May through September… except as I’ve said in the past, I’m also not very timely when it comes to new music anyway, so I guess it’s a little debatable how much those timeframes matter to anyone else. Ah well. I’m also doing my usual write-ups, except I felt less wordy this time, so it probably won’t be as long (although last time was also a little extreme in length, so maybe that’s for the best).

Here are the YouTube and Spotify playlists:

The notes on what’s missing: Mouse removed her music from Spotify, so that’s only on the YouTube playlist. I couldn’t find “Strange Luvv” by King Isis on either platform, so here’s a Bandcamp link. And 7mai doesn’t use either, so here’s a link to their Bandcamp page; the picks on this playlist come from the Gray, Pink, Yellow, and Violet “Colorful Palette” EPs.

And speaking of, as always, a lot of these artists have Bandcamp pages where you can purchase their music directly. So if there’s something that you really like, maybe consider throwing some money their way as well!

Carly Rae Jepsen, The Loveliest Time

Once again, Carly Rae Jepsen followed up an album release with a B-sides collection the following year. I don’t really have a ton to say here; Carly Rae Jepsen released an album of very good pop music? And I liked it a lot? Wow, what a shock, who could have guessed any of this!

It is kind of interesting that this one dropped the “B-Sides” label this time in exchange for its own (derivative) name, although it’s also probably the B-Side album that feels like it most strongly stands on its own, so it makes sense. It does feel like The Loveliest Time dabbles around in styles more than any of her other albums. I wish it had a song I liked as much as “Run Away With Me” or “The Loneliest Time” or “Want You In My Room”, but it’s also not hard to recommend songs like “Shy Boy” and “Psychedelic Switch”. Overall, I’m not sure if it’s my favorite of CRJ’s projects, but that’s a difficult catalog to stand out in, and probably partly personal taste.

PRIZM, All Night

This one was my big, new discovery while browsing Bandcamp over the last few months. I know that I have a thing for those sparkling atmospheric synths and haunting saxes and powerful vocals singing big hooks cutting through it all… but also, this Dallas-based duo makes it so easy to love it. They have the style down pat, writing banger after banger and polishing them to a gem-like gleam, and splashing them across the night sky with a sense of cinematic grandeur. The songs I’ve picked for the list (“All Night”, “Lost You”, and “Can’t Bring Me Down”) were all easy calls, instant classics that I immediately fell in love with, but really, there are no weak links on All Night. I tore through the rest of their releases and can recommend it all, although for the sake of this playlist, I included “Sober” (one of three recent singles, hopefully prelude to a new album?) and cover “Don’t Stop” (one of a trio of Fleetwood Mac covers they released; I like them all, but felt like this one was the most interesting, really putting a unique spin all their own on it).