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Sounds of Summer


And Relax

The scent of coconut oil pervades the air as you recline wearily on your sun lounger like Giorgione's Sleeping Venus. The latest Summer Book Club read is at your side — unread. I think you're now relaxed enough to listen to this year's selections for the Sounds of Summer.

Brigitte Bardot - Contact 

Impossible to think of Brigitte Bardot without imagining the French Riviera in its sixties heyday as a backdrop. Summer is in her very essence.

Contact [Amazon] was written by our favourite incorrigible Gaul, the quite incomparable Serge Gainsbourg. The song remains as brilliantly bonkers as the day it was born in 1968.


Lightships - Sweetness in Her Spark

Lightships is a solo project from Teenage Fanclub's Gerard Love. Sweetness in Her Spark is a finely crafted and sophisticated pop song from the 2012 album Electric Cables [Amazon]. The gentle vocal delivery and summery jangles provide a pop breeziness that you will find quite welcoming as you prepare to make that long walk to the ice cream kiosk. Yet there's an undertow to the song that makes you miss something, but you don't know what. Put it to the back of your mind, you're on holiday.


Here we go magic - Over the Ocean

Here We Go Magic are from New York and are signed to the Secretly Canadian label, which supports serious musical talent rather than chart tripe. Over the Ocean is from their third studio album A Different Ship [Amazon] produced in collaboration with Radiohead's producer (and 'sixth member' Nigel Godrich).

The song has a hazy and mesmeric feel. Supremely well-constructed, yet be careful or you will become lost in the seemingly free-form musical explorations. Prepare to be mildly hypnotised. 'Over the ocean, we'll have a vodka', sings Luke Temple. Yes, we will.


Brian Bennett - Solstice

You've been out all night enjoying the cool of the evening and the warmth of the hospitality in lively Spanish tavernas. What larks, fellows.

As you sit down with your chums to enjoy an Andalusian breakfast of squashed tomatoes and olive oil on toast at a quayside coffee shop, a green flash appears for a split second on the horizon to herald the sunrise. You recall Éric Rohmer's The Green Ray and how much you enjoy his films.

Shaking salt on your toast, Brian Bennett's Solstice starts to play on the terrace. It might be the sleep deprivation, but suddenly you understand the meaning of metaphysical religious ecstasy. You keep it to yourself, not wanting to cause a scene.

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