Top 5 Guilty Pleasure Summer Tracks
After having a fun filled Spring (break, for you students), the Summer is almost upon us! Here in the beautiful (Dirty) South, the summer climate gets quite toasty, signalling that it is time to get ready for the the beach, lake, or the pool, and of course, the massive summer festivals. Growing up I always looked forward to my summers, because I could be at the beach from dawn to dusk, along with masses of beautiful people, wearing next to nothing, with little to no responsibilities. So even if I can’t get away to the beach like that any more, I luckily have the chance to re-invoke those feelings whenever I play a DJ set this summer at the lake, pool, or at a block party. Here’s a few of my favorite guilty pleasure tracks, older and newer, that are great for your upcoming gigs going into the summer.
Holidays (Lenno and Jesse Oliver Remix) – Miami Horror
I am a huge fan of Miami Horror and just about everything released by them is hot, whether it’s an original, remake, or remix. The original mix of “Holidays“ is a fine mid-tempo morsel, great for the mixtape or early poolside set, but the Lenno and Jesse Oliver remix suits the dance floor slightly better. It’s a bit more uptempo and synth-driven, but it still maintains the juicy chorus, and melodic tenderness of the original. Most of the time, I wait until the girl-guy ratio favors the Y chromosome before I play this one. This is definitely a “sing to the sexy shy girl” song, and it should definitely serve to ignite summer flings as soon as the crowd hears you play it.
Let It Go – Dragonette
Let’s face it, a great female vocal is my kryptonite, especially if it’s sassy and sultry at the same time. Lead singer, Martina Sorbara, of Dragonette has a way of seducing you with her vocals in this track, but the star of the show is the lead synth melody that dances and drives around this uptempo summer anthem. Sure, it’s formulaic somewhat following the success of Calvin Harris‘ blue-print of the last two years, but this is far better in my opinion. Dragonette has consistently rocked the indie set ever since “Fixin’ To Thrill“ made my skinny jeans a little skinnier in places a few years back. With a few high-profile remixes of “Let It Go” from the likes of Laidback Luke and The Knocks, this summer banger is sure to please an even greater audience worldwide. Instant classic, seriously.
The Veldt – Deadmau5 feat. Chris James
I’m not the biggest fan of Deadmau5‘ work, but I have always respected his talents in production. Aside from the fame he has achieved and his iconic persona, his music is very good. His latest track, “The Veldt”, is a withdrawal from the usual rigid bangers, but it is very, very good. This song tells the story of children living within a virtual, self-created “beautiful world”, which is based on the Ray Bradbury short story of the same name.
Despite the eerie nature of Bradbury’s original, this song is surprisingly uplifting and beautiful, with a very chillwave sensibility about it. It is a bit minimal from what we expect from the mau5; Moog inspired synth bass, wonderfully lush pads, and a subtle arpeggiated lead do more than enough to fill the space around Chris James‘ truly enigmatic vocal. Musically, it’s a simple masterpiece; the best kind when you just want the music to take you away into your subconscious. Brilliant.
I’ll Get You – Classixx feat. Jeppe
Classixx are a DJ duo hailing from Los Angeles that truly have a knack for creating velvety, retro-synth laden remixes. Having lent their incomparable remix talents to an all-star list of indie darlings, including Phoenix, The Ting Tings, Yacht, Major Lazer, and Ladyhawke, their 2009 debut single, “I’ll Get You,” proved that they had saved the best magic for their own release.
Sitting upper mid-tempo at around 118 bpm, this gem sets the table for your four-course festival of funk, with a chunky (do you like) bass, and stabby synth chords, complete with an intoxicatingly addictive sing-along vocal. This track is great for starting the pool party or leading off the mixtape, and should be served shaken, not stirred, with a lemon twist.
Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love) – Spiller
Okay, this is a classic, but not the first track I had ever pimped out from Italian DJ, Spiller. The first of his bangers that caught my attention was Spiller from Rio when he was known as Laguna with fellow Italian producer Tommy Vee. That was, and still is, a superbly groovy house track that always saved the day.
“Groovejet,” presumably named after my all-time favorite WMC venue, completely embodies Miami day and night life in the late 90′s. A pleadingly sexy vocal from British songstress, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, is surrounded by a rolling organic bass line, Nile Rodgers-esque disco guitar riff, and sublime conga-driven percussion. I have had this track for many years, but I haven’t nearly given it the play time it deserves, most probably because I save my best vintages for only special occasions. I highly encourage you all to get in touch with the house-head that dwells within you somewhere, buy this track, play it, and watch the magic happen.
There you have it my friends. Just a few summer morsels to tempt your palette with the warmer weather approaching. I could really go on and continue to list some of my favorites from years past, but I would rather get some ideas from all of you out there, DJ or otherwise.
Please feel free to make any suggestions in the comments below, whether it’s a tasty track I should be playing this summer, or if it is another idea for a future “guilty pleasure” listing. We have a massively busy summer planned ahead, filled with reviews and videos of exciting new gear, coverage from some summer music festivals, and of course any and everything associated with DJ culture. I’ll see you all at the pool, and until next time, happy gigs!