Sounds COOL(S): Songs To Kick Off Your Hot, Wet, American Summer

You’re over your Spotify mixes, your YouTube playlists are becoming repetitive, and wading through your muso friend’s ever-pretentious song suggestions is less appealing than listening to Nickelback’s “Photograph” on repeat for the rest of time. We get it. To relieve your decision fatigue, we’ve asked the hottest rising artists to compile their favorite tracks of the minute.


Here, Metal Mother shares the songs to jive and thrive to this summer.


1. Sister Nancy, “Bam Bam”



I can’t listen to this without imagining I’m on a tropical beach bumpin’ and grindin’ through a cloud of weed smoke…I never troubled no one / I’m a woman not a man…Sister Nancy has been coming correct for me since I was teenager.


2. Polo & Pan, “Nana”


Okay fine, I have tropical lust right now, but that’s not the only reason I freaked out when I heard this in my brother’s car last week (always a main source of new music discovery). It kind reminds me of Sebastion Tellier, Joao Gilberto, and like, “Hmmm Cibo Matto.”


3. Rosalia, “MALAMENTE” (Cap.1: Augurio)



Obsessed with Rosalia! I think I’ve watched every video of her in existence with or without accompaniment, whatever…she has the voice of an angel!  I’m also planning on improving my Spanish by listening to her, which hopefully won’t be such a struggle because her lyrics are beautiful and very worth the effort ‘para entender.’


4. Koffee, “Rapture”



This track has been in my head nonstop since I discovered it last week. Not sure if it’s our somber current social-political landscapes or I’m just feeling like enjoying the sunshine while I can, but reggae is doing it for me right now, and discovering Koffee confirms I’m not on an island in this. Koffee’s story is amazing too…so refreshing!


5. ‘Django Unchained’ Soundtrack, “Freedom”



Everyone knows Tarantino has the best soundtracks, but this song was written specifically for Django Unchained, which for some reason feels like an extra bonus because it’s so good. I don’t even know who the singers are, but their harmonies kill me every time. It makes me wanna cry and simultaneously jump around in a gospel catharsis. A total freedom fighter anthem!


6. Bedouin Soundclash, “Brutal Hearts”



Gotta love it when you stumble across a song that you thought was new but then realize it’s from 2010 and start to wonder if everyone knew about it and it’s been a huge conspiracy to keep it from you, like, how different would my life be if I had heard this song eight years ago? It’s giving me Lykii Li and Little Yeasayer (which now that I think of it were big around the same time). I can’t get enough of this percussion style.


7. Gang Gang Dance, “Princes”



This song is such a banger and still goes hard after all these years. I’m not sure who the dancehall vocalist is, but his verses and the euphoric gang gang synth and vocals makes the song very unique and so very glorious.


8. Maribou State, “Feel Good” (feat. Khruangbin)



No idea how I came across these guys, but it has not been a disappointment. Of course I am a sucker for hyper-pitched-shamanic-chipmunk-on-acid-vocals worked atop melodic-repurposed-organic-trip-hop but who isn’t? When the song builds into the super layered euphoric dopamine crescendo it’s like, Wow, okay guys, let’s do this.


9. Billie Eilish, “All The Good Girls Go To Hell”



I have to admit, at first I couldn’t stand Billie Eilish, but that was before I had actually listened to her music. Finally, after hearing from all directions how good it was, I dove in. She has such a sick vocal style, you can tell she is really coming from a real place. A complete badass.


10. Nina Simone, “I Put a Spell On You”



Within the first seconds of this song, I feel like the High Priestess of Soul has already in fact put a spell on me. Every time! Her voice and the crazy orchestral production—strings, horns, the whole bit. They sure don’t make em like they used to! This song is a masterpiece and Nina is Queen.


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