Five essential tracks for your end-of-summer playlist

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Photo courtesy Tori Coker

Reporter Tori Coker.

Tori Coker, Marketing Director

Summer’s officially winding to a close. We’re getting closer to fall semester everyday: closer to that final wave of wind through your hair on a road trip, closer to that final footprint in the sand, closer to the last sunset you’ll get to appreciate fully without the lingering stress of uncompleted homework hiding not-so-quietly in the back of your mind.

To soften the blow of these fast-approaching deadlines, I’ve combed through some of my favorite releases from this summer to offer up five essential tracks for an electric end-of-summer playlist.

Hippo Campus, “Bad Dream Baby”

This group has quickly proven themselves pros at alt/indie-rock over the past few years — and their latest single is proof they have no intention of slowing down. Utilizing a springy melody to contrast the drawling vocal and playfully dark lyricism, “Bad Dream Baby” sums the lead singer’s life struggles up into one hell of a catchy bad dream.

On top of being completely infectious and a total shoo-in for my own personal top five come Spotify Wrapped season, it has an entire half verse dedicated to the #FreeBritney situation — so if I haven’t convinced you so far, there’s that.

Bleachers, “How Dare You Want More”

In the midst of producing for all your favorite ladies in pop, Jack Antonoff has somehow found time to devote to his own project. Bleachers’ third studio album — and the latest track released from the upcoming LP — is perhaps the best yet.

Capturing the insecurity associated with taking any leap toward what you want, Antonoff makes confronting the voice in your mind that claims you’re undeserving, sound easy and bright. From the Vampire Weekend-esque riff sparkling in the background to the glorious sax that has become one of this act’s signatures, even your bluest self would struggle fighting the blinding hope this track sparks in your chest.

Lorde, “Solar Power”

While the reaction to Lorde’s long-awaited return has been mixed, I wanted to give “Solar Power” its flowers for the way it sneaks up on you when the timing’s just right. With a sound that calls back to George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90” — to a degree some call too much (to which I say there’s no such thing) — Lorde’s warm, intimate melodies are best received beneath the setting sun, where you can truly appreciate her invitation to romanticize the warm weather.

When the delightful outro bursts through in all its harmonic glory, you’ll find yourself transported right to that beach from the music video, reliving the pure adoration for summertime some of us haven’t felt quite as strongly since we were kids.

Doja Cat ft. SZA, “Kiss Me More”

I know you’ve all heard this song. There’s no need for me to elaborate on how flawless it is. But, it is truly one of those once-in-a-blue-moon mainstream radio hits that never gets the slightest bit old or loses its magic for me no matter how often I hear it, so it had to be here. 

“Kiss Me More” is undoubtedly the song of the summer this year — the world is simply wrapped right around Doja and SZA’s uber-talented fingers, and rightfully so.

WILLOW, “Gaslight”

The Travis Barker young alt-rock wave has officially hit its peak with this unstoppable artist’s new album “lately I feel EVERYTHING”, and I honestly couldn’t recommend any song on this record enough. 

Since you’ve undoubtedly already heard the magnificent “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” all over TikTok, consider this your nudge to give “Gaslight” a listen, too, if nothing else from the release. 

It’s a brief but exhilarating glimpse at what makes this album and artist truly special, with her threading of wholly resonating pop melodies atop nostalgic alt-rock instrumentals leaving you momentarily unsure of which summer you’re bidding farewell to exactly, in the best way.

So there you have it — an extra, musical dose of electricity to wrap your summer up right.