3 Bands You'll Be Listening to All Summer Long

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Sylvan Esso

I've recently been recuperating from surgery and have had a lot of time on my hands. This can lead to some wonderful discoveries (I have the attention span to read an entire article! And to get obsessed with a really, really bad TV show called Betrayal!). But my favorite discovery is these three bands that I know I'll be listening to all summer long. Each has just the right amount of energy, emotion and panache to ensure dancing on the warm days and staying in with them on the foggy ones. Here are my votes for summertime soundtrack!

Last week, my friend sent an email ordering me to listen to the new, eponymous Sylvan Esso album. And she was very right to do so. This side project of Mountain Man singer Amelia Meath and Megafaun bassist Nick Sanborn makes me very grateful for side projects and I vote it should become their main project. Sylvan Esso was born when Meath asked Sanborn to remix her song "Play it Right." That song's music video features Meath writhing around in stage lights wearing really awesome white and neon leggings (see above).

While not very reminiscent of the folky inclinations of the duos' original bands, that sort of range and departure is part of their dynamism. Meath's voice gives the now-familiar synth pop tone of the band some oomph and strangeness that makes them stand out. Nowhere is that more clear than the first track, "Hey Mami," which sort of sounds like some combination of campfire song, yoga class chant, Regina Spektor voice, and The Knife sensibility. You can experience this crazy blend for yourself when Sylvan Esso play the Fillmore on June 6 with the also weird tUnE-yArDs.


While watching the 24% fresh, Bret Easton Ellis penned The Canyons, starring Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen (I blame the deceptively awesome preview), I kept Shazam-ing every single song that was playing in the background. It is a soulless void of a movie with a seriously good soundtrack. But the song I continued listening to for weeks after was Gold Zebra's "Love, French, Better." It gave The Canyons a sort of noir-ish gravity and emotion it didn't deserve. I was in love. But any other songs by Gold Zebra were no where to be found. Then, at the end of last month, their long awaited debut arrived. It is...just...so good.

There's this one scene in The Canyons where Lindsay is lounging by a pool that juts out seemingly into nothing, with this outrageous view spread out below. Gold Zebra's album is what it would be like to hang out by a pool like that, at night, and maybe at a party. You'd be having a lot of fun, but also feeling a little wistful, and these songs would be playing through it all. That or maybe you'd be dancing around in the desert in a leotard (see above). Described as Chromatics-esque, the Montreal-based duo don't seem to be touring in the U.S. anytime soon, but I'll keep my eyes out for you. Until then, the full album is available on Spotify!

My newest discovery is Drug Train. They're not on Spotify, but you can listen to them on Sound Cloud. Coincidentally, they are also from Montreal (I didn't do that on purpose, I swear). I can't find out much about them other than they have a weird Tumblr page. It's kind of refreshing, really; sometimes I wish the only thing about me on the internet was a video with sparkle dust in it and a long highway stretched out in front of me.