Summer 2014 New Music Playlist

Headset. Image via Shutterstock.

Seventeen new songs plus notes to sizzle up the summer fun.

Summer is finally here. Fire up the BBQ and get out those picnic blankets, along with this playlist of new tunes from recent releases to provide the perfect soundtrack. This compilation of 17 songs is culled from a bounty of new music out of the West Coast, especially San Francisco (Waters, Papercuts and the Fresh and Onlys), plus an international mix from across the pond, especially the UK (Eno*Hyde, the Horrors, Damon Albarn and Jimi Goodwin). Listen up and see what catches your ear.

Summer 2014 Playlist by JaneJS on Grooveshark

1. "Inspector Norse" – Todd Terje

Danish producer Terje Olse (a.k.a. Todd Terje) recently released a debut album called It’s Album Time. This closing track, "Inspector Norse" exudes fun, over-the-top electronic nu disco.

2. "Got to My Head" – Waters

This new five-piece band from San Francisco is gaining notice with the strength of the punchy power pop found in this single, "Got to My Head".

3. "Daddy’s Car" – Eno*Hyde

Legendary producer/composer Brian Eno channels yet another musical vision, this time with Underworld’s singer Karl Hyde for an album called Someday World. The layers of synths, vocals and Hyde’s guitar present a full band approach for a song about paternal protection.

4. "Keys" – Hooray For Earth

This lush electronic rock track is a teaser single for the upcoming second studio album from NYC based quartet Hooray for Earth. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Noel Heroux creates a sonic world bordering on noise-pop with an anthem-like approach.

5. "Coming Down (featuring Matt Berninger)" – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Philadelphia-based indie band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (CYHSY) is back with a new lineup, which includes singer Alec Ounsworth and bassist/producer Matt Wong plus an added emphasis on electronics. "Coming Down" is a highlight of the fourth album, Only Run, enlisting the distinctive vocals of Matt Berninger from the National punctuating the tune.

6. "So Now You Know" – The Horrors

Veteran English rock band the Horrors returns with a fourth studio album aptly called Luminous. The five-piece embraces a shimmering, lush sound with full-on production under the guidance of frontman/lead vocalist Faris Badwan.

7. "I’m Not Ready" – Chappo

Brooklyn-based quartet Chappo released an infectious single, "I’m Not Ready", ahead of its sophomore album, Future Former Self. With Baton Rouge native Alex Chappo as lead singer/songwriter and guitarist, this psych rock band gamely incorporates a danceable beat with synth pop flourishes.

8. "Still Knocking at the Door" – Papercuts

Papercuts is the musical project of San Francisco singer/songwriter Jason Quever since 2000, with a sixth album called Life Among the Savages. The signature baroque pop is fleshed out with studio musicians and a touring band as some of the new songs require a team approach.

9. "Moments" – De Lux

DFA label duo De Lux is clearly inspired by the new wave music scene of the late '70s and early '80s in this song off the debut album Voyage. Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco embrace it so eagerly that it’d be a shame not to join in this post-disco dance-punk party.

10. "No Rest for the Wicked" – Lykke Li

Swedish singer/songwriter Lykke Li has released a third studio album, I Never Learn. Her powerhouse vocals soar over a synth foundation in this solid single for the collection, "No Rest for the Wicked".

11. "Moving to the Left" – Woods

Folk rock band Woods finds a psychedelic twist for the laid back vibe in "Moving to the Left". This latest jam via singer/songwriter Jeremy Earl is off of the sixth album, With Light and With Love.

12. "Oh! Whiskey" – Jimi Goodwin

Doves is on hiatus, so frontman/singer Jimi Goodwin has released a debut solo album called Odludek. With his sage vocal renderings resurfacing in "Oh! Whiskey", this song veers through similar style transitions with guest musicians filling in as a backing band.

13. "Alexandra" – Hamilton Leithauser

Hamilton Leithauser is another frontman/singer finding new solo musical waters in a debut album, Black Hours, as NYC based indie stalwart the Walkmen has dispersed. There’s an emotional urgency in "Alexandra", with a stomping beat and Leithauser’s pleading vocals.

14. "Hundreds of Ways" – Conor Oberst

Inexhaustible singer/songwriter Conor Oberst recently released a sixth solo album (not to mention others since 1994 with Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk and Desparecidos), Upside Down Mountain. "Hundreds of Ways" is an upbeat tune in this new collection full of adult themes as Oberst makes his way into new territory, which now includes married life.

15. "Animal of One" – The Fresh and Onlys

San Francisco garage rock band the Fresh and Onlys is back with a fourth album, House of Spirits. The quartet mixes psych rock with a Californian aesthetic in this song, "Animal of One."

16. "Supernova" – Ray LaMontagne

"Supernova" is the lead single and title track of a fifth album from singer/songwriter and New Hampshire native Ray LaMontagne. His earthy vocals and acoustic attitude infuse this lighthearted tune, along with other new offerings.

17. "Lonely Press Play" – Damon Albarn

Best known for his musical past with Blur and The Gorrillaz, British singer/songwriter Damon Albarn is released his first solo album, Everyday Robots. "Lonely Press Play" is a single for this definitive release, with his signature vocals contemplating a life on the road over a slow jam.

Summer 2014 Playlist by JaneJS on Grooveshark





A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.


Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.


PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.


'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.


Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.


Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.


Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.


The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.


Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.


Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.


Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.


'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.


Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.


Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.


Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.


The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.