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, R.LUM.R shares the songs you need to get through for long stretches of summer travel—or a summer spiral.
1. R.LUM.R, “How This Feels”
This one is super personal and reminds me of a time when I honestly was just really numb and confused about my relationships and stuff. It is wryly cheerful to me though because I’m better now, and it reminds me of the fullness of the emotions I can feel. I’m grateful for that.
2. Porter Robinson, “Sad Machine”
This is my favorite song to have a Wow, I can’t believe how beautiful this moment in my life is-kind of cry. It makes me feel emotional, but hopeful. There’s something so innocent about the robot voice that sings, and the bigness of the synth atmosphere. Also, the music video is a tear jerker.
3. The National, “This Is The Last Time”
This is my go-to song when I need to just wallow in the feeling. That intro guitar line sounds so shaky and despairing that it’s comforting when you’re in the mood. It feels like someone you know well who can really see you. Also, that last yelled outro section is just the outburst I need when I’m sad. It’s like a controlled fire.
4. James Blake, “Don’t Miss It”
To me, this song reads like a warning; hoping that the listener doesn’t dismiss the beauty in the imperfection of life. I struggle with a lot of anxiety, so all the lines that start with “I could avoid” cut into me. That said, it still reads as hopeful to me. It’s almost like an older relative telling you to accept that things are temporary, to not take things so seriously, and allow yourself a bit more joy before its gone.
5. Washed Out, “Floating By”
One thing I love about Washed Out is the musical self awareness. The music always perfectly the title and this dreamy sonic environment has just enough lift to hit cruising altitude, but never to take you too far out into space. If I just need to be calm, this is a good one to pull up.
6. Nils Frahm, “Our Own Roof”
This song just sounds like a funeral dirge. To me, it sounds totally hopeless, and sometimes I need that. If you’re at a point where you’re just fucking tired and breaking down, this is a good song to put on loud, sit in the dark, and just cry it out. That process feels restorative.
7. Brad Meldhau, “Don’t Be Sad”
There’s just something in the sonic struggle of these chords and Joshua Redman’s sax performance that makes me feel like the underdog finally getting his due. It’s like Rocky finally reaching to top of the stairs, or Rudy finally getting to play. For me, this one really does what the title says; it won’t allow me to wallow. I need that sometimes.
8. Cult Of Luna, “Dark City Dead Man”
This one is a rare listen, but one of the only songs I associate with rage. If I’m just fucking pissed, I put this one on loud in my headphones and take a walk or longboard for a few play-throughs of its 15-minute length. Right at 3:28 is where the full on head bang starts.
9. Radiohead, “Give Up The Ghost”
There’s something trancelike about this song. I don’t know if it’s the super soft kick or the cyclical guitars, or Thom’s “gentle but still somehow rough” vocal, but this is one that always gets a few repeats since it’s so hypnotizing. It takes me to a flow state that you just kind of…wake up from. Calmy refreshing!
10. Sam Gellaitry, “Acres”
This song has that great juxtaposition of those beautiful strings, but that heavy kick that makes that head bop irresistible. This one was a staple on tour in the van because it chills everybody out but isn’t too sleepy. This was my most listened to song of 2017, actually.
Check out R.LUM.R, below.