Summer music to get through August
A Read Max playlist roundup
Greetings from Read Max HQ, whence the Read Max team has returned from points northeast. Read Max will return to the irregular schedule of newsletters to which its subscribers have not, by definition, been able to become accustomed, very soon.
Until then, as our crack research and production team, following its extended period of disconnection, catches up on important news, we offer our subscribers a treasure trove of summery mixes and playlists for their enjoyment. As always, please email email@example.com or comment below with ideas, questions, suggestions, and recommendations.
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Music for nice mornings
Here’s my own go-to, self-curated summer-morning playlist: a lot of 70s AM gold and other stuff that doesn’t sound out of place next to it — a little funky, a little jazzy, but above all extremely mellow:
If you want to go straight for the jugular, try this impossibly glossy feel-good compilation of City Pop, a sort of Japanese twist on what we now call “Yacht Rock,” put together by the great Light in the Attic record label to celebrate their City Pop compilation.
Music for barbecues
The playlist I put on first when temperatures start going over 85 or so is this one, a mix of sleazy g-funk by my friend Grady, an excellent DJ and formidable maker of great Spotify playlists.
It’s short, but Bruce Springsteen’s list of frat-rock classics is undeniable, in the sense that no one will be able to prevent themselves from singing along to most of it:
If you want to go in an even scuzzier direction, I’ve listened to this butt-rock mix by the Universal Cave collective a few times every summer since they made it a decade ago. This is music fo cutoff sweatshirts, cutoff jeans, and a bad domestic beer in a foam coozy:
In a sort of perpendicular direction, this list of 80s and 90s mall-pop, freestyle and RnB classics from Jessy Lanza and Morgan Geist is so good you can almost feel the A/C:
Music for lazy afternoons
I made this mix of extremely relaxed music for taking in nice views a few years ago and still listen whenever I can. If you have a toddler, this is music for parents trying to recover during the afternoon nap.
I love this collection of soft, pretty 1960s psych and rock from the Numero group:
This summer I’ve also been listening a lot to Fell from the Sun, a compilation from St. Etienne’s Bob Stanley, which he describes as “the best of the 98bpm records that soundtracked the summer of 1990”: blissful, psychedelic breakbeat and sunny trip-hop. I put the tracks together in a YouTube playlist here, too.
Music for sunsets
There are a billion different Balearic playlists out there, most sharing the same 100 tracks or so. I like Chris Coco’s because he’s continually updating it, so you can sort it by date and see what’s new, or just put it on shuffle and enjoy the vibe:
I also like Jura Soundsystem’s New Age-leaning collection of sometimes unpredictable mellow classics — certainly “Balearic” in vibe even if it doesn’t have “Moments in Love” on it. (OK I just checked and it actually has three versions of “Moments in Love.”)
This playlist, of stuff Phil Mison was playing at the legendary Cafe Del Mar in the early 90s, doesn’t have “Moments in Love” on it. But it does have Queen Latifah and Kirsty MacColl.
Enjoy! If you like these playlists, please share them with your friends. And stay tuned for more Read Max newsletters.