June 4, 2009

Summer songs for open windows

Driving with open windows and cranked sing-along music is a summer pastime. A tradition kept alive and revisited by movies like Easy Rider, American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused and annually brought out by the warm sunshine. 

However, you can't blast any song out on the highway or into your neighborhood streets. Animal Collective? Passion Pit? No. Popular culture's acceptance of creative and difficult music may be growing, but a car window will always more suited to the anthemic "Born To Be Wild" or rollicking funk of "Slow Ride" than a mess of blaring synthesizers. 

For a healthy dose of handclaps, foot-stomping rhythm and singable chorus, try "Song Away" by Portland's Hockey. The band may be best known for its new-wave and dance-oriented music, but "Song Away" is straightforward rock characterized by a basic rhythm guitar line and lyrics so simple the end rhyme uses the same word: "This is believe me music / This is forget me music / This is who could love me / This ain't no Roxy Music." The track is as easy to remember as it is to like. 

Including a reference to the road is an easy way into any car stereo. While Kurt Vile's "Freeway" has a slightly experinmental production style that clouds his lyrics and guitar with reverb and echo, it covers all the necessary elements of a summer driving song and more: a booming snare drum, hand claps, bluegrass-tinged guitar picking, and simple lyrics sung with a loose and upbeat cadence.

Hockey — "Song Away" (from Mind Chaos)
Kurt Vile — "Freeway" (from Constant Hitmaker)

Kurt Vile

1 comment:

  1. oh, driving gloves. i really need white driving gloves.

    and nice song picks. i usually go for the oldies station :)