Nadia Elkharadly: Summertime Songs 2013

Nadia LogoHave you ever had a song just completely change your mood?  There are some songs out there that can infuse you with energy, happiness and excitement.  Having a day where you just can’t muster the fucks to give about…well, anything?  Currently in the throes of one of those days, I decided to turn to my newly acquired Rdio account, and peruse my growing collection of tracks and playlists for a song or seven to drag me out of the hum drum existence I’d found myself in.

It’s summertime, and that’s no time to be dragging my doldrums around with me. So with that intention in mind, I decided to compile a list of my favourite summertime ditties that bring sunshine to my spirit, no matter how dark I find myself feeling.

The Mowgli’s – Say it, Just Say it

This California collective have been burning up the airwaves with their first single “San Francisco”, which is how I discovered them in the first place.  I actually got to check them out live a few weeks back, and they’re just as sunshiney bright in person as they are recorded.  When my glum mood threatened to take over my entire day, their album was the first thing I searched for on my Rdio.  Take a listen, and you’ll understand why.

I never thought I’d be grateful to Lindsay Lohan for anything in this lifetime, but many may say we have the troubled starlet to thank for bringing this band out of relative obscurity and into the public eye with just one tweet.  From the swinging beat, the sweet melody and the seemingly massive collective of voices singing about “finding a simple kind of love you can’t deny”, I just can’t help but smile when I hear this song.  It embodies that lighthearted yet deep feeling vibe that the Mowgli’s are all about.  It’s a great addition to any summer soundtrack.

Daft Punk – Instant Crush

Random Access Memories by Daft Punk has already been dubbed the album of the summer, and songs like this one are exactly why it’s earned that honour.

I’ve always liked the music of The Strokes, so when I heard that singer Julian Casablancas was going to be lending his talents to this latest effort by the French DJs, I was eager to hear what the pairing would produce.  The mellow, distorted lyrics, and the slow and steady, yet speedier in parts beat brings to mind driving with the windows down on a beautifully clear summer nights, my arm out the window weaving up and down through the air along with the flow of the melody.  Adding in that trippy guitar riff about two thirds of the way through really seals the deal for me – and is that really any surprise?  Here’s hoping for green lights all along that musical ride.

Sugar Ray – I just wanna fly

Ironically enough, as I write this very very LATE column while seated at the Cherry Cola bar watching the Bobcast recording, houseband extraordinaire Xprime played a song by this very band for our (and your future) listening pleasure.  While it wasn’t the same tune, it was nice to hear this band get some love, since I loved them so very much back in their nineties heyday.

While Sugar Ray may have gotten their start as a thrash punk/metal band, it was this ska and reggae infused song that was their claim to fame.  This was the kind of song that teenagers of the nineties adored.  Picture this: you’ve borrowed your parents’ car and are out cruising with your friends and this song comes on the radio.  The only option was to roll down the windows, crank up the volume, and sing along. Thinking of this song makes me think of summertimes gone by, when life was less complicated and being irresponsible was a way of life, and not a guilt inducing, mess-to-clean-up-later adult drama.  Whenever I hear it, I’m transported back to that feeling, even if it can only be just for a moment.

Matt Mays – Indio

My giant crush on East Coast rocker Matt Mays is no secret, especially from you my lovely readers.  I’ve always loved his music, but his newest album, Coyote has produced  some fantastic musical gems, especially for summertime.  It may be the time Mays spent in California before and during the recording process that’s infused sunshine directly into every note.  Whatever it is, I definitely like it, and this tune in particular really exudes that sunshiney California surf sound.

When this song comes on the radio as I’m driving (as I often do), I can’t resist the urge to speed up, roll down the windows and open the sunroof and sing along as the sun warms my skin and the wind ruffles my hair.  I’m a desert flower, and Indio, California is a gorgeous desert that I’ve been lucky enough to visit, and experience beautiful music in (it’s where the world famous Coachella music festival takes place every year).  Listening to “Indio” reminds me of desert heat and wind, and also somehow the beautiful ocean that California’s known for.  California’s a great state that way; you can see mountains, deserts, plains and the ocean all in the span of one day, and that sprawling, natural beauty definitely found its way into Matt Mays’s music, and this very song.

Mother Mother – Infinitisimal

I just can’t get enough of Mother Mother’s latest album The Sticks – it’s definitely become my album of the summer, if the frequency that it comes up on my Rdio stream is to be trusted.  Almost all of the songs on that record are completely fantastic, but this one just has a way of getting into my consciousness, waking me up and putting a smile on my face and warming me from the inside out.

This song is completely addictive.  I love the juxtaposition of the upbeat, light vibe of the song with the relatively dark lyrics – scars on souls are not to be taken lightly, but you can’t help but move along to the happy go lucky seeming beat.  The harmonies between the Guldemond siblings and co-singer Jasmin Parkin are gorgeous as usual.  It’s truly a great song, and this summer I just can’t get enough of it.

Rival Sons – Until the Sun Comes

Rival Sons are a favourite among the crew at Don’t Believe a Word I say – indeed it was Bob that turned me onto them in the first place, and as you know his musical taste is always impeccable.  Though they also hail from California (with one notable Canadian transplant in the form of bassist Robin Everheart), this foursome doesn’t generally come to mind when one thinks of summertime soundtracks.  There’s something different about this track however:

Much like the lyrics declare, this irresistible beat really does make me want to dance until the sun comes up, but not just anywhere.  When I picture dancing to this hip shaker, I imagine myself on a beach, the wind in my hair, the ocean spray on my skin and the sun shining down on me as I move and sway to Mike Miley’s rockin drums.  In my mind, Rival Sons are playing a killer beach dance party and everyone’s invited.

Got some summertime tunes you want to share with us?  Mosey on down to that comment button and give it some love.

Until next time,



Nadia’s column appears every Wednesday

Contact us at:

DBAWIS ButtonNadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

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