Seconds Please 014: Underrated Songs of the Summer ’13

August 16, 2013 No comments yet

If you’re like me you’re glad that, unlike last year, your entire existence isn’t clogged up by “Call Me Maybe” pouring out of every hole in pop culture, or Nate Ruess’ incessant need to try and be young even though he’s on the wrong side of 30. As we head into the last month of the season, its time that we all take a look at what soundtracked the summer of ’13, but may not have been at the forefront of the “song of the summer” race. In this Seconds Please… the MJF crew defends some of their personal favorite underdog tracks for your own audio pleasure.



Follow @dorblue


You would never suspect that gloomy Glasgow would produce a song of the summer, but indie darlings CHVRCHES delivered this gem of pop genius that has most everyone salivating for their proper debut. “Gun” comes barreling out the gates with the funnest revenge manifesto in recent memory, with a perfected formula of strong indie-electronic pop bathed in the fragile vocals of lead singer Lauren Mayberry. Wavy synths swirl about on a delicate ascension into the sky, championing the church of electropop with both grace and fervor. While the internet is well aware of the power of CHVRCHES with their continuous streak of stellar releases, their full length is on the horizon, and will ensure that the group will be on heavy rotation long after this summer ends.

Machel Montano – The Fog

Machel Montano, Trinidad and Tobago’s soca king, has been a staple in the Caribbean for close to three decades, and while his lively stylings have rarely left the islands in a major way, the Diplo-ification of modern dance has shed light on Montano’s most recent single, “The Fog” (with an ear splitting banger remix). Sure, the track was released in the winter, but it is a thing of summer beauty, blending traditional afro-cuban and Caribbean percussive traditions with shiny driving synths; its what you would expect Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On” might sound like in 2013. On top of a stew of drum and buzz, Montano sprinkles his smooth, deep vocals with a melodic intelligence that  many electronic acts could take a lesson from. Everything you would ever want in a summer jam: an inescapable chorus, a groove that doesn’t stop, and thoughts of sunny celebrations. They’re all in “The Fog.”

Runners up: Chance the Rapper – Good Ass Intro, St. Lucia – All Eyes on You

Follow @jessielmorris

Smallpools – “Dreaming”

Smallpools’ “Dreaming” made the Russell Hammond ‘I AM A GOLDEN GOD kind of pop cannonball that only happens a select few times each summer when it burst onto the blogosphere earlier this summer. With pop bliss seeping from it’s lyrical pours and hooks that would make Katy Perry jealous, it’s the kind of song that compels you to press replay. While Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” has been #1 on the U.S. chart for 10 weeks in a row, “Dreaming” is it’s internet equivalent after skyrocketing to No. 1 on Hype Machine within three days of its release and selling over 12,000 downloads. Now that success has converted to radio play, it’s only a (short) matter of time before it bamboozles radio stations across the country. Not to mention it’s the song everyone is clamoring to remix from Charli XCX and TWIN iDoL to The Chainsmokers to Magic Man (all available right here.) It’s the next “Pumped Up Kicks” so check it out and relish in it’s underrated goodness.

Runners up: Avicii – “Wake Me Up” featuring Aloe BlaccMarina and the Diamonds – “Lies,”  The Dolls – “Summer of ’93,” FMLYBND – “Electricity.”

H. Drew Blackburn
Follow @hdrewblackburn

The spirit of summer is about the past and the present. Yes, we should all be diligently worried and prospective about the future–because that’s the responsible thing to do–but at it’s core and at it’s most amiable state, the summer is about living in the moment and reveling in nostalgia. Chicago youngin Vic Mensa’s “Orange Soda’’ perfectly encapsulates said ideal. The playful drum break and synthesized vocals that could be stripped away from some lost Outkast song state Mensa’s purpose with the track. It’s lively, wistful, a chilled glass of mirth and he’s got the flow and the bars to match.

When it comes to summer songs in the hip-hop spectrum, the best of them follow the lively and wistful plan: “Int’l Player’s Anthem,” “Best I Ever Had”, “The Light,” and how could we forget “Summertime.” “Orange Soda,” is the audio manifestation of bar-b-que’s, baseball games, and the consumption of large amounts of beer. And when it comes to summer song’s and nostalgia, they’re really no good unless they’ll make you feel it in five years or so without a novelty aspect. Do I think “Orange Soda” has that power? I do, I do, I do-oo

Runners up: Tuxedo – “Do It”, Mikel Cronin – “Weight”