When summer hits us and we’re finally free from work and school, the first thoughts that come to a lot of people are music festivals and days of lazing in the sun. I have chosen a selection of songs from less publicly known artists that are ideal for these long summer days. Whether you catch them on the festival circuit or just listen as you lie in the sunshine; these songs will put you in the perfect mood for summer.
Melodica Melody and Me – Come Outside
Melodica, Melody and Me are a South London based six-piece who have already toured with the likes of Mumford and Sons and Bombay Bicycle Club. Championing some less conventional instruments (the charango, the melodica) and marking their style as folk/reggae, they make music that effortlessly lifts and soothes your spirits. Their recent release Come Outside is a perfect accompaniment to the summer days. With its resonant honeyed vocals asking us “won’t you come outside?” and its enchanting violin melody, courtesy of award-winning Nick Pynn, it provokes in you a childish urge to play outside and a languid urge to bask in their soft rhythms. You can find Melodica Melody and Me on their upcoming album tour and at the Outside Inside Festival (Reading) and the Cambridge Folk Festival.
Trevo Moss and Hannah-Lou – Concorde
Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou are a married, singing folk-duo who make the type of longing, wistful music that has made people fall in love with the genre all over again. Concorde tells the story of a child’s lost dream of riding the plane of the same name. Their stirring harmonies and the plodding guitar rhythm gracefully take you with them through their tale of yearning and loss. The almost haunting timbre of their voices gives the final line, “I’m never gonna ride that plane, nor am I ever gonna see the likes of her again” the poignant, affecting realism that the duo are becoming known for. You can catch them on tour and at the Cambridge Folk Festival.
Planet Earth – Bergman Movies
Indie, folk-rock London four-piece Planet Earth are one of those bands that make you feel as if you are being serenaded at your window from a guitar-toting teenage lover. They specialise in songs that you would take home to meet your mother, with simplistic folk infused chord sequences and twee lyrics. Their debut single (released back in 2009) Bergman Movies is of the same sweet nature; dryly singing how “we could watch Bergman Movies, until we don’t wanna live together, it’s for the better” with a charming monotony, much like those of their label and touring partners Noah and the Whale, makes you feel comfortably melancholic and irrevocably hopeful.
The Voluntary Butler Scheme – To the Height of a Frisbee
The Voluntary Butler Scheme (Rob Jones), is a shrill voiced, endearingly coy, one-man band from around Birmingham. His playful indie songs have gained him a large following and his versatile talent with instruments such as the ukulele and kazoo keep his songs constantly fresh. The jaunty guitar opening to To the Height of a Frisbee will put you immediately in the mood for the summer festivals. Its lively, lo-fi guitar coupled with the scratchy mid-tone voice of Jones is the perfect sound to dance to in the sunshine and the tepid romantic messages he delivers, “I’m gonna nickname you Grandad Jones and I’ll care for your bones and your heart”, in his juvenile voice make you long for and despair of those fleeting summer romances.
Image courtesy of Nickolai Kashirin