Lifestyle Music The Bureau
The Survey Vol. 7: A Song for Summer
By Lena Dystant
Jul 13, 2022
Ever curious, Drake’s calls on friends, family and acquaintances for an episodic enquiry focused on a single theme.
Our ongoing series, The Survey, returns to send summer off in style. While recent temperatures made a dash for the top end of the thermometer, it was hard to ignore the last hurrah feeling that hung in the air. It’s that time of year when thoughts of balmy late evening strolls and lazy outdoor lunches make way for outerwear strategies and reacquainting yourself with central heating timers.
Clinging on to those final weeks of warmth, we’ve gathered a group of friends including Jeff Barrett of Heavenly Recordings, Monique Kawecki of Champ Magazine, and music writer Andy Thomas to discuss their soundtrack to summer. The tune that transports them instantly back to warmer days, whether it conjures memories of sun-drenched holidays, or simply lifts moods at first note, these are the records that encapsulate summer for our participants, keeping the spirit of the season alive, no matter the month.
Chris Kontos, Editor, Kennedy Magazine
Among my almost 3000-strong vinyl collection there are a few songs that qualify as my ideal song for summer holidays. But I found it quite easy in the end to choose just one essential track, and that song is “Sueño con México” by my favourite guitarist Pat Metheny, from his 1979 album New Chautauqua.
My first encounter with the song was in 1996, through the legendary Café Del Mar music compilations by the guru of Balearic wave Jose Padilla. Back then it was my only window into that musical world, seamlessly blending electronic music with jazz and ethnic. I vividly remember listening to the first CD of the series with my good friend Theodore at his summerhouse in Spetses, and the seminal “Entre Dos Aguas” by Paco de Lucia after Silent Poets’ “Moment Scale,” as the curtains slightly danced under the midnight breeze. I remember a few years after I bought the third CD in the series and took it with me on a holiday to Antiparos. The song that stayed with me, accompanying my sunsets on the island more than any other, was “Sueño con México.” Since then I have played it so many times, on every island I have been to through the years, with different people, different love affairs, different settings. The feeling was always the same and stays like that to this day. It’s a song that still manages to make me cry from happiness.
Chris Tang, Photographer
My summer tune is “I Wanna Dance With You” by a group called The Edge of Daybreak, on a record called Eyes Of Love, re-released by the Numero Group in 2015 - 36 years after its debut. Blissfully playing across a number of BBQs and mates’ weddings over the summer, from Sicily to Guernsey, for me, it’s a record that encapsulates ‘70s America. It’s also a record made by prisoners in Virginia who had been charged with armed robbery and assault. Legend has it it was recorded in one take and only 100 copies were pressed. It’s powerfully optimistic, soulful and a nice reminder I’ve got it good.
Monique Kawecki, Editor, Champ Magazine
Music is pivotal to my routine. The rhythm I hear in the morning sets the tone for the whole day. I try to keep the rhythm consistent to the pace I hear first - the song I wake up to - to ensure that the day is balanced and productive. London-based band The Comet is Coming released Trust In The Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery in March, perfect timing as the album turned into my motivation for the entire summer (and still is!).
As a writer, I often prefer music without lyrics so I have more clarity to refine the thoughts in my mind and utilise the beats of the music to create a consistent rhythm for my day. Storytelling is great through music. Kendrick, Mac or Ye are on rotation when I want to step into someone else’s world to provide perspective on my own, but otherwise I need Philip Glass, Yussef Lateef, Alice or John Coltrane to accompany me.
“Unity” on Trust In The Lifeforce… can’t be beat, but I wake up to “The Universe Wakes Up.” It gets me out of bed and sets the tone for the day. Creating and protecting the rhythm you move to every day is so important. If you’re conscious of the sounds around you and ensure their presence works to better your flow, you’ll start to notice the difference. A positive difference!
Andy Thomas, Music Writer
Back in the early '90s I went to Ibiza for the first time and started most evenings at Café Del Mar. There are many more obscure records that will remind me of that magical summer and the sublime and evocative soundtrack by DJ Jose Padilla as the red sun slowly slipped behind the horizon. But if I had to choose one record I associate with Jose it has to be Ryuichi Sakamoto's “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.” I lost all my Café Del Mar cassettes many years ago, but thanks to the Test Pressing blog, the mix it was on re-appeared a few years ago, taking me back to simpler times. I can almost taste the chocolate milk and brandy.
Jeff Barrett, Founder, Heavenly Recordings
“Summer in the City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful is the anti beach song. If you have ever been in New York City in the summer months this recording can give you the fear. It’s claustrophobic, your face is grimy and wet, and man, you are gonna die. But this is the city and you’re young, and in just a few hours' time everything is gonna be all right…
But at night it's a different world
Go out and find a girlCome on, come on and dance all nightDespite the heat it'll be all rightAnd babe, don't you know it's a pityThat the days can't be like the nightsIn the summer, in the cityIn the summer, in the city