Summer Singles – July 2021

The following songs have been trapped in my head for weeks.

Hachiku‘s “I’ll Probably Be Asleep” is perfect in its lengthy unfurling melodies and ambient-waves-of-guitar production. Vocalist Anika Ostendorf’s breathy flitterings invoke prior pixie muses, conjuring Bjork and Blonde Redhead vibes, with an incessant blown-out drum machine keeping things trancey and hard. This has been a difficult song to shake: I hear it in my head in the shower, when walking to the cafe, when doing dishes, when setting up pivot tables… it’s stupid. My sucker-for-it tastes in music are all wrapped up in this one track. Kudos, Hachiku.

In their now decade plus, Montreal’s Suuns never really blew up in the way that they should have. Their more avant-garde art-punk leanings may have kept them from a larger audience, but it’s also what has cemented them as such a compelling and unpredictable act. It makes the straightforwardness of their new single, “Witness Protection,” all the more refreshing: an eerie glitchy verse refrain crescendos into a beast of a drum break, washing out the final minute with a cathedral guitar loop.

The new single Separate from last year’s favorite UK alt-rock band, Sorry, moves well beyond guitars and into something else entirely. As with their prior single, they are pushing their chopped-up production tactics even further, making for a unique sound that falls somewhere between hip-hop and cult chants.

I’m ashamedly hooked on the detached hipster swagger of In the Stone,” from The Goon Sax. It’s surprisingly produced by the impeccable John Parish.