Eavesdrop: In Between Summertime
With festival season winding down and fall just around the corner, it’s time to refresh your playlists and get ready for the cooler months to begin. Luckily, bands and artists all over the world are gearing up for the autumn, releasing everything from surreal pop-punk anthems to coolly modern R&B tracks to get you through those impending darker days.
Single Of The Week
LUCIA – “Summertime”: If you're anything like me, you'll already be looking ahead towards pumpkin spice lattes and sweater weather, but Glasgow rockers Lucia are determined to squeeze every last drop out of the season. On the surface, the aptly named "Summertime" is a sunny-day anthem with serious 1960's flair - closer to the Ronettes and Lesley Gore than the Arctic Monkeys or Arcade Fire.
However, the track isn't all sherbet-sweet vocals and beachy guitars. Under the laidback facade, the story "Summertime" is telling is far less celluloid friendly, detailing the realities of a summer romance that's been and gone. As the song progresses, both the vocals and instrumentation get grungier, like a gloomy teenager locking themselves in their bedroom after a bad break-up.
The bridge kicks and screams as hard as it can, but the rest of the track stays unflinchingly whimsical, dragging you along for one more syrupy, sing-along chorus even though the truth of the relationship is over. It's the perfect track for getting back in touch with your angsty, drama queen days, or just reflecting on how lucky you are to have grown out of them.
Music Videos Of The Week
All Time Low – “Birthday”: "Birthday" is another track unafraid to mix the bitter with the sweet. The video begins with all four members of All Time Low tied to chairs in a candy-colored room, a perfectly frosted birthday cake in the centre rigged to explode. Even as the music itself is telling you to relax, opening with gentle harmonies that are definitely more parts pop than punk, the visuals are saying otherwise. The camera never stops moving, spinning around the core members fast enough to make you sicker than a kid who's eaten too much birthday cake.
The chorus comes in a burst of celebratory energy, finally inviting the guitars at the heart of All Time Low's success to the party, and with them, the video takes a hard left into some seriously cult-like imagery. The band are gathered around a table staring enraptured at the cake that could spell their doom, slamming their plastic cutlery and swaying in unison. When the cake finally does explode, they tear into it like they can't get enough, and the track itself might have you similarly obsessed.
RAY BLK – “Run Run”: Music is at its most impactful when it serves to illuminate a perspective seemingly no one is talking about, and in that sense, Ray BLK's "Run Run" could not be more necessary. As an R&B track, it is almost impossibly fresh and alarmingly present, keeping the hooks simple but strong enough to drag you in and refuse to let you go. The visuals are similarly alarming, following a young boy as he runs through a working-class community in Brixton, trying fruitlessly but feverishly to escape the dangers of his community, as well as the bigger factors that created them.
It's a hard video to watch for sure, especially as he is forced to climb a staircase littered with the bodies of those who failed to complete their own journeys. Contrasted with Ray's tender, almost maternal vocals, the imagery takes on an even more heartbreaking dimension, forcing you to consider the mothers who spend every day wondering if their sons will make it home. There's an undeniable rage underneath the gentleness, a softening of the edges to ensure as many people hear this track as possible. More people should.
Anandi Bhattacharya – “In Between Us”: Good vocals can elevate even the simplest of music videos, and Anandi Bhattacharya's vocals are far beyond good; they are otherworldly. Subtle, sparkling and soaring in turn, Anandi's control and nuance are what turn this tableau of contemporary Indian life into a tapestry, something to lose yourself in and pore over again and again. Lingering somewhere in that bittersweet space between joyful and mournful, she perfectly captures the feeling of realising the storm is approaching, a mood echoed in the sand and silver colour palette of the video.
Of course, Anandi's skill should come as no surprise to anyone who knows traditional Indian music. As the daughter of celebrated Indian slide-guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya - who features heavily in the instrumentation of this track - her life has been steeped in music since the day she was born. However, the modern touches that set this track apart are not down to her family, they are instead down to the multitude of other influences she says inspired the record. It might be hard to hear Radiohead or Joni Mitchell in this intimate and traditional track, but they're there, lending it a timeless quality that could win over fans of any genre.