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Keep Your Summer Setlist

Allie Tollaksen | Friday, October 4, 2013

While everyone else is excited about the coming of October, I can’t help but get a little choked up. No, I’m not crying over how excited I am to wear scarves, how much I love pumpkin spice lattes or how I “just can’t wait to go on a hay ride!” The reason I’ve been constantly on the verge of tears this week is that fall came far too quickly this year. 

Maybe it was because I spent my summer working full time, but the season just seemed to fly by. While others are jazzed about the autumn weather and won’t stop talking about “the colors,” I am the girl sulking with a serious case of post-summer sadness. Don’t get me wrong, fall is nice and everything, but I simply am not ready like the rest of you are. 

In response to this, I’ve done everything in my power to actively deny the changing seasons. I’ve written the date wrong every day this week (apparently my subconscious still believes it’s August), I’ve worn weather-inappropriate clothing in defiance, and, most pleasantly, I refuse to stop listening to summer songs.  

See, I’m usually a strict believer in seasonal playlists, so much so that when a fun, “summery” song comes on in the winter, I actively hit the “next” button. 

This year, however, I’m making an exception and setting aside my weird, borderline obsessive-compulsive music tendencies. I just can’t let go of summertime music, and though it certainly has to do with my previously mentioned slow summer grieving process, it’s also is because I found this summer’s music surprisingly great. 

In the hip-hop world, we got a bevy of quality albums. Between J Cole, Kanye, Jay-Z, Earl Sweatshirt, Big Sean and ASAP Ferg, I was almost overwhelmed (okay, definitely overwhelmed) by the hip-hop scene this summer. Then, of course, came Kendrick’s “Control” verse, stirring things up even more, and it seemed like everyone was suddenly dropping some innovative or controversial verse by the end of the summer, making it a great time to be a rap fan. 

Then, there was the slew of impressive alternative-rock albums this summer, and there’s no way I’m getting over them any time soon. Notables include Portugal, the Man, who not only released their newest album, “Evil Friends,” in June but also put on one of the most incredible live performances I’ve ever seen at Bonnaroo. Similarly, Sigur Ros, the Icelandic group who put on quite the live show, dropped “Kveikur” in June. And though both albums were released in May, The National’s “Trouble Will Find Me” and Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City” stood out in the summer soundtrack. 

Even the pop scene was on point, I’m surprised to say. Maybe it was just because I was overexposed to bubbly pop in my early-morning carpool this summer, but sleeper hits from Lana Del Rey and Icona Pop and new songs from Grouplove and even Selena Gomez proved to the just the catchy, happy new music I needed to make it to work each morning. 

All in all, it was a good time for music, and if you couldn’t already tell from this recap, I’m simply not ready to move on. 

With that, I present you a playlist of the best songs of the summer. May your transition through this October be better than mine, but don’t forget to take a little summer music with you. 

 Contact Allie Tollaksen at
    The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.