Welcome to The Soundtrack, a column where we plumb the depths of our musical knowledge to bring you the best* (subjective) music to listen to for very specific life situations. This week, we’re gonna help ya stay cool with tunes for when it’s actually way too hot to do anything.
As a (basically) lifelong resident of Brisbane, trust me when I say I know what it is to endure a hot day. There are no words that can accurately, succinctly describe the absolutely disgusting feeling of being completely immersed in a hot bathtub with no escape or reprieve. It’s horrifying, and if recent weather is anything to go by, it’s about to be that time again. We can spend aaaall year pretending like Summer (the season, not the Ricky and Morty character) is some incredible, carefree time of year where every song that’s released is a banger, beach trips are fun and whimsical instead of guarantees of loud children and sand in your everywhere, and the heat isn’t really THAT bad, but we are wrong.
It’s a hellscape of fire and brimstone proportions, so horrific that you literally go to your local shopping centre on purpose for no reason other than to escape the cruelty of the Outside World. And when it gets too blistering for you to even fathom leaving your house, these tunes can be your saviour. I know, because I turned my air conditioner off while putting this together so I could truly write from the heart. That’s dedication.
Django Django – Storm
This has just the right lazy-but-intricate vibes to help you feel like you’re actually kinda doing something when actually you’re just stuck to your shitty polymer second hand couch with a frozen facewasher on your head. It has a pleasant, loping pace that won’t exhaust you or overwork your poor overheated brain, and the canonic chorus is pure expectation fulfillment bliss. Normally I’m not a huge fan of songs where you can predict what’s about to come next, but seeing as you literally haven’t moved since you got up to get a cup of ice three hours ago, maybe relative simplicity is what you need. Besides, this song isn’t even really that predictable, but it is relatively tame by Django Django’s usual (delightfully) batshit standards.
Purity Ring – stillness in woe
Huge if true: Purity Ring can save us all from the impending Aussie summer. I’ll up and admit to never having been a gigantic fan right here and now. I never disliked them, just didn’t quite get the hype – but I get it now. Thirty minutes into my self-induced heatwave torpor, suddenly all I wanted to hear was the shiny, crystalline, icy vocals of Megan James. Synths gently distort and blow around like winter breezes over the frozen tundra on stillness in woe, and I swear my core temperature dropped by a couple of degrees. The lyrics, like all Purity Ring lyrics, are Wacky And Largely Impenetrable (though it’s definitely not a happy song), but despite their complete sonic clarity due to James’ impeccable diction, they really do take a backseat to all those wintry elements. You’re welcome.
Cloud Control – Ice Age Heatwave
Fact: when you call your song something that directly relates to a The Soundtrack topic, I am bound by law to include it. Not really, but it would be rude of me not to. You may think this week’s topic actually arose from me listening to this song, but this is untrue. What is true is that this is a seriously great song and I would have included it even if it was called something else. Cloud Control are another band that deal in zany lyrics and atmospheric synths (on their last album, anyway) and I unreservedly love them for it. Like, I went insane on the pavement/Married a pyramid crime wave? What the heck does it mean??? Does it matter? (Not for our purposes, it doesn’t.) When you chuck this on, imagine yourself going for a nice stroll in Antarctica and riding a (willing, friendly) polar bear for maximum cooling affect. Also, @CloudControl, if you’re reading this pls release another album soon ok thank u.
HABITS – Ether
Ooooooh yeah. Smooth as butter (not the butter you left on the kitchen bench this morning, that is melted/congealed now) and super immersive, this cut from Melbourne’s HABITS is guaranteed to soothe you as you come to grips with the fact that you just accidentally drunk some sweat that dripped down your nose. Let’s face it, you weren’t going to do anything productive in this stank-heat, so you might as well lean on into maximus relaximus mode. Since you’re basically couchbound, you might as well take this opportunity to do some introspection, no? It’s a fitting backdrop for quiet self-reflection, but it’s also layered and labyrinthine enough to distract you from doing just that if you’re the type who’d raaaaather not be alone with their thoughts.
Hush Moss – Slowly Disappear
By this point you probably wish you could disappear, albeit not that slowly, to anywhere even sort of cooler than where you are. Or maybe you’re thinking you would murder everyone on your street for a simple light breeze to blow your way. The long and short of it is, you’re probably feeling relatively agitated and sorry for yourself. Well guess what? It’s time to get over it, and Hush Moss is gonna point you in the right direction. Bubbling reverb, smooth brass, sweet oooohs, twinkling chimes – this delightfully carefree jam has all the right stuff to put a grin back onto your sweaty, disgusting face. Maybe it’ll even motivate you to get up. Not dance of course, that sort of heightened, frenzied movement is absolutely and completely out of the question. But it could prompt you to sway along a little, and that’s a huge accomplishment in and of itself.
Image: Marcus’s Lil Projects