Strawberry Skies Monthly Jams: June 2021
Happy June! It's really starting to feel like summer here on the east coast, and since I officially graduated from high school this week, summertime is in full swing now.
Here's a list of some of the tracks that I've been jamming as the weather has warmed up. You can listen to this playlist on Spotify here!
"Waiting On Me" - Marigold
The passion project of Benjamin Lieber, Marigold was formed in 2018, but I started listening to them when they released their latest single "Waiting On Me." This song has a super chilled-out vibe that's perfect for summer.
"another day" - Range Life
If you've been following me and/or this blog for a while, you already know that I'm a big fan of Range Life, the solo project of The Stolen's Mike Chiarappa - I included his song "bleeding for help" on my first monthly playlist here back in April. His latest single and video "another day" don't take themselves as seriously as his previous work, which works to its advantage. You can find my full review of the song here.
"Sudden Urge" - Rise Against
I will forever and always associate Rise Against with magical summer concert memories - I saw them at Jones Beach in Wantagh, New York the night after I took the last final exam of my first year of high school. I'll be completing that full circle summer concert memory at the end of July when they kick off their Nowhere Generation Tour at Pier 17 in New York City. This track is off their new record of the same name, which has had a spot in my daily rotation since it dropped.
"Deep End" - Regrown"
The final single off of Regrown's debut EP "Closed Casket Material", "Deep End" set the tone for the rest of this release perfectly. I'm absolutely in love with everything that Regrown is doing lately, in terms of the messages that their lyrics send and the way that they're revitalizing the emo/pop-punk genre - their outdoor release show in Philadelphia at the end of June was a ton of fun too! My review of this single can be found on the site.
"The Devil" - BANKS
I became a fan of BANKS when I saw her open for The Weeknd at Madison Square Garden on his The Madness Fall Tour back in November 2015, amazed by her live presence and her (at the time, still somewhat new) album "Goddess." I've been listening to the singer-songwriter ever since, and her new track "I'm The Devil" is even more incredible than her past material.
"MYSTERY" - Turnstile
Hardcore heroes Turnstile returned in a big way in late May, dropping their first original song since 2018. Their latest single "MYSTERY" is an absolutely ethereal listen, and while I was already excited to hear new music from the band, if this track is any indicator of what's to come, the new Turnstile record can't arrive soon enough. You can find my full review of the track here!
"Bliss Out" - Drug Church
"Is it forever, though? Man, you know it is!" This was Drug Church's first single off their EP "Tawny", released on June 25th, and despite being initially dropped in January 2020, this track still holds up, and fits in perfectly with the rest of the EP.
"Criminalize" - America Part Two
America Part Two's debut full-length "Price of a Nation" has been one of my favorite releases of 2021 (I included "I Don't Wanna" on our first monthly playlist back in April), so I was beyond stoked to hear that we'd be getting new music from them so soon. I think what they're doing for their local scene as well as the alternative genre as a whole is amazing.
"Kyoto" - Phoebe Bridgers
Would it be a monthly playlist without Phoebe Bridgers? Her sophomore LP "Punisher" turned one year old this month, and although I got on this hype train late too, I haven't gone a day without listening to this song at least once in a very long time.
"favorite crime" - Olivia Rodrigo
I included Olivia Rodrigo's "enough for you" on last month's playlist, stating that it was my current favorite from her new album "SOUR" but that that would probably change by the time I published the article, and I was absolutely right. "favorite crime" has made me cry more times than I'd like to admit - this whole record is incredible. My full review of Rodrigo's debut full-length is available on the site here!
"The Summer" - Citizen
Citizen's debut album "Youth" also had a birthday this month, turning eight(!!!) years old. I still remember when this record came out, and how listening to it for the first time made me feel. This is one of my favorite albums of all time, and probably always will be.
"Crying Over It All" - Waterparks
Another release from last month, I can't get enough of "Greatest Hits", the fourth album by Waterparks. In addition to "Violet!", "Fuzzy", "Ice Bath", "American Graffiti", and the singles, "Crying Over It All" is one of my favorites from this record. You can check out my very long, very sentimental review of it here!
"18" - Jeremy Zucker
Jeremy Zucker's collaborative EP with Chelsea Cutler, titled "brent", was all I listened to back in late 2019-early 2020 for me and was the soundtrack to many mental breakdowns in hotel rooms. While "brent" is what made me a fan, Zucker's latest single "18" is pop-rock perfection and I'm obsessed with it...my mom has even asked me why I keep playing it every time we get in the car.
"Cathedral" - House & Home
Nothing compares to screaming "I'm looking forward to the way I'll be once I find out what's left for me" at the top of your lungs in the car with the windows down...besides, of course, doing so in the middle of a sweaty crowd, which we'll hopefully get to do soon. House & Home is and has been doing great things for the alternative/pop-punk genre (I included their new song "Empty Handed" on last month's playlist and also reviewed it) and 2021 is sure to have a ton of success for them. You can find my interview with the band here!
"Sunlit Road" - Rich People
Whether you know me personally or just follow me on Twitter, chances are that you know that Philadelphia's Rich People is my favorite band. At the end of June, they released this song only an hour after announcing it, the spontaneity capturing the energetic, feel-good summer sound of the single. I really hope I get to see them play a show soon.
"Growing Up" - The Maine
"Graduate, what's a kid to do now?" I'm pretty much always listening to something by The Maine (I included their cover of Fall Out Boy's "THNKS FR TH MMRS" on last month's playlist), and a lot of their music has been hitting me differently lately going through my "last" everything as I moved towards graduating high school. I wrote an article where I go a bit more in-depth into that including this song and more for Girls Behind The Rock Show this month!
"The Cave" - Stand Still
The debut EP from Long Island hardcore band Stand Still, "A Practice in Patience" is undoubtedly one of my favorite releases from the first half of 2021. I can't wait to see them play AMH with Koyo at the end of the summer.
"Bloody Knuckles" - Sleeping With Sirens
The first time I heard Sleeping With Sirens was when my Girl Scout Camp counselor (hi, Jodi!) played their new (at the time) album "Feel" feel for me the month that it was released. Fast forward eight(!!!) years later, and I still get just as excited as I did when I was ten years old to hear what this band puts out. Their new single "Bloody Knuckles", which I reviewed here, has been in my rotation since it came out.
"Nervous Wreck" - Real Friends
Much like everyone else who was a fan of Real Friends when they were fronted by Dan Lambton, I was, no exaggeration, terrified for what their new music might sound like with a different vocalist. I'm overjoyed to announce that their two new singles, "Nervous Wreck" and "Storyteller", are absolutely incredible, and new frontman Cody Muraro of Youth Fountain fits in perfectly. It doesn't feel like a hard left, just a natural progression of the band's existing sound, which is exactly how it should feel.
I'm beyond excited to get to see them on their run with Bearings and State Champs in the fall, and, yes, I am dragging my poor mother to the second New York City date at Irving Plaza. You can get your tickets for that tour here.
"return to dreamland" - towhead
The second EP from towhead, titled "tap water" was released on June 8th and has quickly become a part of my late-night summer soundtrack; the soft, acoustic songs are perfect for staying up late talking and driving around with your friends. My review of the EP can be found here, and my interview with the artist can be found here!
"Different Method" - DARE
A few weeks back, Orange County, California hardcore/straight-edge band DARE released "Different Method", the first single off of their upcoming album "Against All Odds', due out on August 20th via Revelation Records. This is a straightforward straight-edge track, and it hits on all cylinders, even including a feature from Movements vocalist Patrick Miranda.
"Slower" - Hurtless
Made up of members of PVRIS, Cove, and Moose Blood, UK indie-emo band Hurtless released their first single this month, titled "Slower." A bright, airy-feeling love song, this track has been on repeat for me since the day it was released. The band has since released their second single "Separation" on July 2nd - I'm really excited for what the future holds for them. Until then, my review of "Slower" can be found here!
"Know It All" - The Band CAMINO
Ever since their song "The Black And White" popped up on my Spotify Discover Weekly back in 2018, I've been a huge fan of The Band CAMINO - I'm pretty sure I listen to "See Through" every day and have been for over a year. Their soaring, bombastic hooks are what I love most about them, and "Know It All" has a ton of those. I can't wait to hear their new self-titled album when it comes out in the fall.
"Perfect Places" - Lorde
June was a big month for album birthdays!!! Lorde's second full-length "Melodrama" turned four years old this month. This record was also huge for me in my formative years; I heard it for the first time during my freshman year of high school and it was a comfort blanket of sorts for me throughout multiple dramatic teenage breakups. I wrote a retrospective review of the album which you can find on the site here.
"Eyez of Blue" - Absence of Mine
Last album we have to say happy birthday to this month, I promise. Absence of Mine's "Smile! Aren't You Happy?" absolutely owned 2019 for me - I streamed to it non-stop the first few months after it came back and even made my dad listen to it with me.
"Play" - Rich People
Surprsingly enough, I haven't really used this platform to talk about Rich People yet, but, as I mentioned earlier, if you knew me before I started this site or know me at all, it's no secret to you that they're my favorite band in the world. I included "Play" on this month's playlist because it's my second favorite song by them (only "White Mark" tops it for me), my favorite track on their 2020 album "Harmony", and the lyrics that I put on my graduation cap, in frontman Rob Rich's handwriting, of course. I am very, very thankful for this band, the connections I've made with them and because of them, and for everything that they've created and brought into my life.
"Bee Stings" - Koudi
Koudi's "Immortality, Pt. 3" has to be one of my favorite releases of 2021 thus far, and certainly one of the most unique records I've heard this year. You can find my interview with two of the band's members, Josh and Will, on the site here.
"Lips" - The Maine
Yes, I'm including another track by The Maine this month. They released a fun new single a few weeks ago called "Lips" (review by me here) as well as another single called "Pretender" more recently. Their new album "XOXO: From Love & Anxiety in Real Time" is due out on July 9th, which you can pre-order via their online store here.
"Solar Power" - Lorde
I know there's already one Lorde song on this playlist too, but now she's (finally) back, so I had to. Her first release since 2017's sophomore effort "Melodrama", a single titled "Solar Power", was released back in June. You can check out my review of the sunshine-filled track here and pre-order her new album of the same name on her website here.
"Diamond One" - Koyo, Life's Question
Long Island hardcore band Koyo has been one of my favorite bands as a fan and someone working for a music publication pretty much since they formed. I got to interview frontman Joey Chiaramonte for Legends of Tomorrow in fall 2020 and again in winter 2021 for Legends of Tomorrow's second print issue, and I've had their debut EP "Painting Words Into Lines" in my rotation since it was released in March 2020 (I included it in my favorite hardcore releases of the first half of 2020 listicle as well).
The release of their new song "Diamond One" featuring Life's Question was accompanied by the announcement of their signing to Triple B Records and their upcoming second EP "Drives Out East", to be released in July (you can pre-order that via BBB here). Since then, they've also released a second single, titled "Moriches", which premiered with a music video via Brooklyn Vegan.
They will be playing Amityville Music Hall in Amityville, New York with Rule Them All, Shackled, Stand Still, and Yesduke on August 20th (tickets available here) and Shaker's Pub in Oakdale, NY with Regulate, Life's Question, Soul Blind, Victory Garden, and Living Weapon on August 22nd (tickets available here) to celebrate their release weekend (weekend passes available here). To no one's surprise, I will be in attendance at both shows. LIHC forever.
What have you been listening to this month? Let me know by tweeting me at @JENSESSlON or the blog at @StrawbSkiesBlog! The blog can also be found on social media @StrawberrySkiesBlog on Instagram and Strawberry Skies Blog on Facebook.