Summer Mixtape

From our fingers to your ears, the songs that will be your summer soundtrack

Each summer seems to bring it with a set of new cool grooves. While we're not good at predicting which songs will break big, we do know which songs we'd put on our summer mix tape. After careful consideration, here's what will be rocking our world this summer (and you can check out these songs on our Spotify playlist, Cleveland Scene Summer Mix, which we'll update all summer long).

alt-J, "Breezeblocks"


Every note in this indie rock, electronic dubstep conglomeration is specifically placed and engineered to bring the most talent out of this popular song. The combination of unique English voices, a booming bass and tinny subtleties such as bells make this song one of the surprise hits of the year. (William Hoffman)

Black Angels,

"I Hear Colors"

(Blue Horizon Ventures)

Lyrics like "I hear colors running through my mind/I can feel them dripping in my eyes," mix with waltzing synthesizer melodies and disorienting special effects to transport you back to your most experimental college years. Lead singer Alex Mass' voice has a distinct tremolo reminiscent of Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane fame, further ingraining the track with a psychedelic 1960s sound. (Jacob DeSmit)

Jake Bugg,

"Lightning Bolt" (Mercury)

Having already captivated audiences overseas with his songwriting capabilities, this track from the young English singer's debut self-titled album delivers straightforward blues in a package that some American critics are already likening to Bob Dylan. Only time will tell if the analogy proves true, but the Brit shows his chops here with his brand of thoughtful lyricism over a gritty folk sound. (DeSmit)

Cold War Kids, "Miracle Mile" (Downtown / V2)

"I was supposed to do great things/I know the road was long," bellows Cold War Kids singer Nathan Willett at the start of this bouncy, piano-driven single from the band's new album, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. The song's intensity slowly builds, ultimately turning it into a spirited call-and-response that's surprisingly soulful and angst-ridden, a real feat given that these guys are a bunch of white dudes from sun-soaked Southern California. (Jeff Niesel)


"From A Window Seat"


Taylor Goldsmith's lyrics have always been more fitting for a poem than to a rock song but this time Dawes is able to blend both in an elegant way. Although the lyrics are up for interpretation, this song can easily stand tall on the instrumentals alone supported by carefully crafted guitar solos and delicately complex drum lines. (Hoffman)

Daft Punk, "Get Lucky"

(Daft Life / Columbia)

If I had to put my money on what song would be this year's summer smash, it would be on the latest single from Daft Punk's highly anticipated album, Random Access Memory. Sounding much more human than a majority of the French duo's other material, the song leans heavily on the soft swoon of R&B singer Pharrell and the play of the backing session players — including Chic's Niles Rodgers, who provided the very funky rhythm guitar — that drive the groove. (DeSmit)

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