Say goodbye to August and with it all the endless, annually recurring "songs of the summer" discussion. For our money the songs of the summer were psychedelic dance, melancholy folk, epic post-black metal, fried lo-fi post-punk and Thai psych. And that's the final word on that. Listen to the 20 best songs of August below.
"'Our Love' is less heart-swelling and more of a hyper-focused dancefloor filler. It sort of leapfrogs the Disclosure lads in that it pulls from the same strains of UK garage and house, but organizes them with a freer hand."
"It's a perfect anthem for hermits, souped up on that familiar undistilled pop (that rocking outro is the best) while finding engaging tension with the morose lyrics. You can think of it as a party underneath the covers you've pulled over your head and all your fears are cute little gremlins dancing on your chest."
"The tender, soaring folk full of melancholy and wit feels like a relic, but with too much singular personality to be just some curio."
"'Gone Too Soon' knows what it is from the beginning: oil-slick funk casting a long a thick shadow across Jaar's dismal mutter, a jam session of distorted bongos and paranoid licks, approaching a sunrise."
"Like their breakout album Sunbather (one of the albums that defined 2013), the operative words seems to be "woosh," but never without a few twists."
"...the New York rapper's song has the world dancing in a way that transcends Vine memes: The proof is in the remix, featuring dancehall legends Elephant Man and Junior Reid as well as the still-breaking-out Mavado."
"Like early Happy Mondays missing its Xanax, Old and Weird trying to eke out some fun from the occasionally nerve-racking present."
"...the Montreal pop group's new song is also soft-focus, silky and veiled and even the bassline is a clear descendant [of Berlin's "Take My Breath Away"]"
"[Kindness is] still the same methodical music nerd as when he first emerged. But now there's a heightened sense of design: each new element — from gummy slap bass to brand new, ghostly sparseness — is outfitted over the original track. Everything glides effortlessly in perfect sync with the song's existing heart, beating in perfect and lovely time."
"...constantly reassesses where the edge is and goes there while screaming static through guitars and hellish, prophetic oaths of urban ennui."
"Makonnen's vocals are the kind which could only flourish in the age of torrents and crowded iTunes libraries, filed between The Beta Band and Lil B. And honestly, it makes his charmingly cartoonish turn-up that much more enticing."
"We're guided through an almost imperceptible deep house evolution with golden Rhodes chords and four-on-the-floor laying out a shimmering trail. Yet as easy as it is to listen to, you'll be finding new shades in every subsequent listen."
"An apocalyptic kick worthy of the title urges the surrounding brass and bass onto the verge of frenzy but well into the realm of delightful mess: even when Kelela brings something immediately heavenly to the track, she and everyone else keep it a pop song where anything could happen."
"Nancy Whang's vocals trapped between nonchalance and Donna Summer, and a slowly unfurling ballroom of enchanting synthscapes. Part of its charm is that it feels somewhat trapped inside itself, all the majesty and no doors to escape it all."
""City kids moving to the country now" Melissa Ball sings with a Kim Deal sigh, as her band's metal-on-metal lurch sticks to her like migraine in a tarpit. "
"The eclecticism of its tinkered sound is handled with aptitude that would satisfy Robert Palmer, in how the relative accessibility retains the fogginess of their original dour vessel."
"The original London On Da Track beat on Boosie's "G Mix" is a janky remake, but Boosie delivers on his promise in-song to be 'One of the few you could believe what they told ya.'"
"The 'electric phin' is responsible for the spacey tremulations that distinguish and lead the sound, with tinny percussion and wandering bass lines providing plenty of forks in the road to get lost in."
"[From] Calgarian Jean-Sebastien Audet's new LP of fried lo-fi post-punk."
"...a leftover from Sea When Absent, one of the most texturally adventurous pop albums of the year."