As summer comes to a slow and certain end, it is best to reminisce on the fun and adventures that can make the on-coming cool weather seem just as bright and sunny as the last day of school. The time spent in warm weather with friends and family ring like bells in our memory along with the rocking tunes that were played during those alluring times. Whether golden oldies or the latest from the greatest, everyone has a playlist full of music that gets their summer party started. So to wrap up another year of smoking barbecues, tan lines, and everything else in-between, here is a compilation of of our favorite jams to help end your summer on a high note.
LANA DEL RAY
American bred Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (stage name Lana Del Rey) is known for her cinematic allure and her 1950-60’s era-conscious vocals that ooze with Hollywood sensuality befitting of the times. Her hit EP “Born to Die” came out in January 2012, followed by the release of “Paradise” in November of the same year. Packaging tracks from the album; she incorporated alternative rock, baroque pop, as well as indie pop styles. Her drawn-out play with chords reminds listeners of a laid-back time with palm trees and tiki torch smoke in the air, making her music perfect for those slow drives through cities full of lights and good times.
EMPEROR “WITHOUT PREJUDICE”
While some may have thought that Dancehall Reggae’s era ended in the early 2000’s, duo Saint Michael and G-Terra have come together to prove the doubters wrong! Native to Jamaica but residing in Fayetteville, NC, the two artists have been a part of the game long before the release of this album. Working beside artists such as DJ Unk on their global hit single “Kawasaki”, the underground reggae sensations prove that they not only have what it takes to take over the industry, but that they can get the party started with their cultural influences as well as their lyrical abilities. A combination of rap and reggae is perfect for day parties on the beach, and night parties in the club.
This Malaysian singer and songwriter has been singing her lullabies throughout the world since 2008. Though her albums have mostly been in the Malaysian dialect, America was fortunate enough to get a gasp of her gentle whirlwind in 2011, especially after teaming up with top producer Pharell Williams for the track “Live Your Life”. Yuna’s mellow-smooth vocals are perfect for the cool-down of summer; watching sunsets and saying goodbye to summer flings, while celebrating the on-coming school season with friends. A light flair perfect for those moments needed to reflect on everything you did (or wish you would have done) this summer.
J. COLE “BORN SINNER”
A national hit, J. Cole brought back more of the thought-provoking lyricism so desperately missed in hip-hop. A Fayetteville, NC native, J. Cole changed the game with a focus on his lyrical ability rather than his ostentatious taste in the high life, making him relatable to many of his fans, and loved by everyone. Released in June of this year, his album “Born Sinner” sold 297,000 copies within its first week of release. With his hit single “Love Songs (All Night)”, Cole leads love-struck summer lovers to the breaking point, while making everyone feel beautiful and beach-ready with his single “Crooked Smile”.
Robin Thicke has always had a way of making women move their hips, and with the release of his new album “Blurred Lines” in July, it seems the party is far from over. Born to a musical family, Thicke was destined for greatness, and he sure did deliver! His hit title single “Blurred Lines” is STILL on the countdown, and is making a splash in the parody world on YouTube. It has debuted at #1 in both the UK and in Scottish album charts, and continues to make a splash in the United States. The funky R&B vocalist has a way of not only making listeners want to fall in love, but have one more round of fun before a night of partying is over.
PHAROAH SALAAM “NINJA HEADPHONE MUSIC”
The summer is not complete without the perfect album to listen to while riding home from your vacation destination. Contributing to the lyrical uprise recently occurring in hip-hop, Pharoah Salaam produces writes and raps a compilation worthy of head nods of approval. Another local artist out of Fayetteville, NC, though currently residing in Chicago, he is known to be one of the most hard-working artist out of the area. The release of NHPM in 2012 sparked a revolution within the North Carolina scene as he created his own style with influences from such artists as Andre 3000 and T.I., even getting names such as Janelle Monae to take notice. His come-up story is an epic one that continues to write itself, and getting to know him while riding with the top back through the city is great way to say goodbye to the sunshine season.
While there are many more worthy of mention, these few artist have caught the attention of many everywhere, and continue to make the most of music in the their respected fields. So while you sit back, and watch the sun set over the horizon, or dig into the cooler for one last beverage for the night, make sure you play these artists. They’ll be sure to bring in the coming fall with a blast.
Deanna is an educated free-lance journalist residing in Cameron, NC where she spent most of her life. She attended Fairfield University majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Journalism where she found a love for music and fashion. She has contributed to a number of music and fashion blogs as well as submitted articles to independent publications. Deanna is also an independent R&B/Soul artist, going by the stage name "Rebel Child", and works alongside radio personality Jane Dough of Foxy 99 as a 'Bad Diva' for the independently owned non-profit organization Kool Beans. She is a contributing writer for the Arts & Entertainment department of Carolina STYLE magazine.