Now that we’re over the hump, summer break tends to be one of two things: either scrambling to get your rest and relaxation done before fall comes, or the lazy satisfaction that you’ve done all you wanted to do and that all you have to do now is relax and order textbooks.
In either case, the last thing you need is to worry about what music will accompany you. Here are my humble recommendations to carry you until the fall semester.
Jason Isbell – The Nashville Sound
This is the only country western album I feel comfortable recommending to anyone on the planet.
Where many in this genre are trying to find a voice that they can repeat for the next twelve albums, Jason Isbell and his so-called 400 Unit instead address each song as a love letter to one corner of country western or another and prove the band’s mastery in each aspect.
“Last of My Kind” is a mournful ballad, while “Cumberland Path” is hard southern rock and the album keeps going from there. “Vampires” is arguably their most popular song, and feels much more like a Death Cab for Cutie hit, specifically harkening to “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.”
Recommended pairing: Road trip. Quiet morning whittling.
Also look out for: Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.
Misterwives – Connect the Dots
Indie pop will always have a soft place in my heart, maybe entirely because of how much I have enjoyed this album since its release.
“Connect the Dots” is about as much fun as you can expect to have while still keeping you on your toes with its migration from Calypso stylings to the unflinchingly solid songwriting and synergy of each member of the band.
My one complaint when I first listened to it was that each song seemed to last a bit longer than I’d like, but after the third listen-through, it became a mainstay.
Recommended pairing: Lake party. “Band Camp” works especially well for late night bonfires.
Also look out for: Mike Mains. The Griswolds (specifically, “Be Impressive”).
Belle Reve – Superstoker
This is the sort of band you find without remembering how you found them.
If there’s one way to sum up this band, it’s that their latest extended play makes you feel like an edgy teenager hopped on Monster energy drinks while still being fresh enough that you can’t pin the sound to anyone who has played at a venue larger than a finished basement.
Unlike the last two recommendations, I haven’t spent a lot of time with this EP yet. I will say, I have every intention of finding a way to get this in my car’s disc drive.
Recommended pairing: Workout vibes. Emotionally healthy arm-flailing.
Also look out for: Japandroids. Dirty Loops.
Micah Drake is a senior in English. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.