https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HQQ_YerlgQ

Although Toro Y Moi’s latest album What For? was released earlier this Spring, it has become a perfect soundtrack to these bright summer days. A seasoned listener of Toro Y Moi will find comfort in the album’s vibes similar to those of the lo-fi album June 2009, but also a distant resemblance to the well-written album, Underneath The Pine. What For? contains the perfect amount of psychedelic and abstract ideas balanced with the strong songwriting of front man Chaz Bundick to create a feel-good album to last through the summer and beyond. – Westley Banks

This week I wrote an article for buzz in which I ranked every Sleater-Kinney album from worst to best, giving in depth reviews for each album. I’m posting it on Saturday and it’s going to be awesome, but fair warning: It’s 2,500 words. I wrote 2,500 words about Sleater-Kinney. That’s more words than anyone should write about any one topic. I’ve forgotten how to write about anything other than Sleater-Kinney. I’ve listened to nothing but Sleater-Kinney for the past 48 hours as I wrote it, carefully extrapolating my many feelings about each record. I tried desperately to understand what anything on The Woods means. I listened to the band’s infamous “90s emo song” over and over. But the best discovery of the whole journey was the realization that, in “Combat Rock,” Carrie Brownstein successfully rhymes “song” with “American.” I can’t tell you why she did it. I can’t tell you how she did it. All I can tell you is that I’ve stared into the abyss, and it stared back at me. – Christine Pallon

This song has been stuck in my head for weeks. It’s a classic summer song with a Las Vegas vibe that should compliment most of your fun endeavors. It’s catchy and simple, but give it a couple listens and it will really start to resonate with you.  –  Alleya Weibel

After catching the Brian Wilson biopic, Love & Mercy, I started researching the mythos behind The Beach Boys. While doing so, I became familiar with SMiLE, the follow-up to Pet Sounds that never happened chiefly due to Wilson’s mental deterioration. The session recordings from this era would largely fade into obscurity save for a handful being circulated amongst avid fans. Fortunately, Wilson revisited these tracks in 2004 when his mental state was much more stable; doing so yielded the completed album Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE. In short, this album is phenomenal, a seamless flow of ideas beautifully arranged and orchestrated. Perhaps not surprisingly, the vocal work on SMiLE is most impressive of all—no one does harmonies quite like The Beach Boys, then or now. In the end, I wonder what impact SMiLE would have had if released in 1967; would modern music be much different? I like to think so.  – Eli Tracy

I was cleaning my car today so I figured this’d be the perfect soundtrack for that activity. Also, it’s just a fantastic album that has a special place in my heart for multiple reasons. And as I side note, I think that title track is my least favorite on the album and then”No Surrender” is also one of the greatest rock n’ roll songs of all time. – Danny Stankus

As much as I have a soft spot for them, especially with their older albums, lately the Cold War Kids have been pretty underwhelming. However, “First” has been the first (ha) exception to that rule. It feels vintage, comforting, and the song in itself doesn’t try too hard.It contains the hallmark Cold War Kids gloomy chords and old-school guitar, along with the brooding lyrics we love to belt along with them. It reminds me a lot of their earlier song “Royal Blue” which I go back to like an old book, but “First” is a refreshing and new take.  – Lizzie Porter

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