Summer Mixtape

August 31, 2015 | Charlene Lee

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As August quickly passes us by, I still find myself in disbelief that summer is nearly at its end. The encroachment of September means a few things; for some, it's a scramble to get ready for school; for me it's an onslaught of nostalgia. One remedy during this sentimental time is to make myself a playlist to commemorate the previous few months. Although cassettes are a thing of the past, the tradition of making playlists is alive and well. Whether it's for the commute to work, or for a workout, making a good playlist is both useful and therapeutic. 

Photo courtesy of tara hunt on a cc license

Deciding which songs make the cut can oftentimes be a difficult process, but it all depends on the purpose of the list. 2015 has so far been a great year for music, and this summer for festivals. With lots of fantastic musicians having graced Toronto stages this summer, I wanted to make a playlist to commemorate just that. 

"Know Yourself", Drake 

If You're Reading This It's Too Late is Drake's fourth studio album. The album (which the rapper refers to as a mixtape) is reminiscent of his 2009 mixtape So Far Gone, and has landed him on the 2015 Polaris Music Prize Short List. If You're Reading This is somber and hypnotic, which is most exemplified in "Know Yourself". The album is also available at TPL through Hoopla.


If You're Reading This It's Too Late
If You're Reading This It's Too Late, Drake (Cash Money Records)



"I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)", Jamie xx feat. Young Thug and Popcaan

Jamie xx was in town for the inaugural Bestival, and then for his solo show earlier in the month. While promoting his debut album In Colourwhich is nothing short of genius, he also delivered a couple of fantastic performances. The album is moody, ambient, and intimate, and every track is perfection. "Good Times" is a collaboration of electronic, dancehall, and soul, and absolutely exudes happiness.


"Without You", Tobias Jesso Jr

BC native, Tobias Jesso Jr (who is also nominated for the Short List) adds a little tired, wounded soul to my playlist. Nothing like a song about heartbreak to mourn the summer. His debut album Goon is intimate and minimal, yet whole and complete. Although Jesso had to pull out of this year's WayHome festival, you can catch him live this Fall. 


"Seasons (Waiting On You)", Future Islands

Future Islands brings some needed synthpop to pick things up in this list. "Seasons" is the fearless hit from their fourth album Singles. The song is impulsive and empowering, and Samuel T. Herring's vocals add elements of passion and vulnerability. This infectious track will have you side-stepping! If you weren't able to catch them at this summer's WayHome fest, check out Herring's moves on the Baltimore band's 2014 Letterman appearance

Future Islands - Singles
Singles, Future Islands (4AD)

"i", Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar has been busy. After releasing To Pimp A Butterfly this year to much acclaim, he's been performing at numerous festivals, including a near perfect set this summer at WayHome. "i" comes towards the end of Butterfly, and is one of its more upbeat tracks. "i" encapsulates Lamar's message throughout, that is, through adversity we have no choice but to try to be better. The album is also available through Hoopla.


Needless to say my ode to summer would be longer, but these tracks reflect my summer music experiences.

Looking for your next favourite album? Check out TPL's growing music collection or stream music and videos at home through Hoopla.