Memorial Day has come and gone, which means that summer is fully upon us, at least here in the USA. Every year I find myself craving new summer anthems to distinguish this season from the rest as well as mark each year’s passing. My summer anthems don’t need to be newly released, just new to me, and I prefer poppy, breezy tunes that meld well with driving with the windows down or just lounging away in the seasonal heat. By designating a particular song, songs, or album my “summer music,” I can instantly return to that carefree state of mind long after it’s become too cold to wear short sleeves, or even revisit a particular summer many years after the fact.
The summer before I moved from my family’s farm in the South to Boston for college was filled with an oddly fitting mixture of Radiohead’s OK Computer, Sarah McLachlan’s Surfacing, Loved by Cranes, and Four-Calendar Cafe by Cocteau Twins. “Know Who You Are At Every Age,” indeed. Now, many years later, whenever I listen to any of those albums, I can vividly remember the feelings of hope and trepidation and excitement that swirled around me all summer long. A couple of years later I wanted to transfer to a different college, and that summer was spent with Mazzy Star’s glorious shoegaze album So Tonight That I Might See as well as Madonna’s infectious pop single “Beautiful Stranger” on constant repeat. I can clearly remember whiling away the days dreaming of the new adventures that were to come. Even today those songs fill me with a sense of anticipation.
Unfortunately summer loses some of its glamor as we get older. No longer is there the luxury of doing absolutely nothing; when you’re an adult you’re expected to keep going, keep working, keep taking care of things. Life doesn’t stop just because it’s hot outside. I must admit that I miss those days of low expectations and being left to my own devices, even when my devices were as simplistic as watching crappy movies on cable, or lying on my parents’ bed for hours while staring up at the ceiling fan because it’s just too hot to move. Despite being considered an “adult” by society at large, I still try to invoke those carefree summers of old by finding new summer songs year after year. Luckily one such song has already landed in my ear, and I can’t stop playing it: “Tapaa minut aamulla” by Regina.
I was instantly drawn in by this Finnish indie pop outfit’s mellow sound as well as the beautiful trill of lead singer Iisa Pykäri on the chorus. I have no idea what the lyrics are, but the feeling is breezy and hopeful, making this a perfect song for summer. Regina’s song “Unessa” has an even more summery video accompanying it and is quite lovely to boot, but it’s “Tapaa minut aamulla” that grabbed my heart and got me primed for sweltering heat, ceiling fans, sundresses, and mid-afternoon naps. Viva la summer!
More songs of summer will surely follow as they make their way to my headphones, so stay tuned!