Yukon Blonde’s “Summertime Essentials”

Yukon Blonde’s “Summertime Essentials”

“It’d be nice to pretend this playlist is my “Summertime Essentials,” but it’s really just a collection of some heavy rotation old favourites and some newer stuff that I’m really loving in a really eclectic mix that I think represents my taste in music pretty accurately. It’s a bit weird, just like me.” – Rebecca Gray of Yukon Blonde.

Check out Yukon Blonde’s latest single, “Cry,” here.

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Jonathan Richman, “Summer Feeling”
I love the throwback-y nostalgia of this song. It conjures up a funny juxtaposition of summer break in the 50′s, a-la American Graffiti, and sandy beaches in Hawaii.

Karen Dalton, “Something On Your Mind”
Karen Dalton was a tragically underrated artist in her lifetime. She was famously a recluse, who died of AIDS in the early’ 90s, and only recorded two studio albums, both of which only found her real acclaim posthumously. This record is absolutely, devastatingly beautiful. It has totally changed me since my first listen. (Bonus track: “Same Old Man)

John Fahey, “On The Banks Of The Owitchita”
John Fahey’s compositions are, at once, ghostly and languid, complex and jubilant. He’s my favourite “drone” artist of all time. Listen to “Dance Of Death And Other Plantation Favourites” on your next long drive and get transcended to the Appalachias.

Television Personalities, “Diary Of A Young Man”
A few years ago, my younger brother and his first band Student Teacher played a Television Personalities Halloween cover set. This was the first song I ever saw him sing on stage. Not the only reason why I love the Television Personalities, but a nice memory, nonetheless. (My brother now fronts a wicked band called Co-Op, check them out.)

Cate Le Bon, “Are You With Me Now?”
The first song I heard by Cate Le Bon from her wicked album, Mug Museum. Total earworm, and she’s a total badass.

Alex Cameron, “Mongrel”
I’ve only very recently been listening to Alex Cameron, but I really love this song from Jumping The Shark. My first listen of this song was in a hotel room in Berlin on a cold, clear day. Cameron really “goes there” in his performance. Theatrical, dark and moody. Plus, the guitar tone in this song rips.

Buzzcocks, “Why Can’t I Touch It?”
This song brings me back to the first real, gritty, shitty tour I went on when, on off-days, the bass player and I would learn songs off of the record, Singles Going Steady, over a couple of beers.

Gang Of Four, “I Found That Essence Rare”
It was almost impossible to find one song from Entertainment! to chose for this list, but when I think of Gang Of Four, I think of this track.

Grouper, “Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping”
My love of Grouper is all thanks to my friend, Lowell, who introduced me to her music a few years ago. She writes magical, ethereal, beautiful songs that are perfect for listening to in the dark, or in the rain.

Khraungbin, “Cómo Te Quiero”
Con Todo El Mundo is solid album of incredible instrumental songs to vibe out to over the summer. Every song is killer, but this one is my favourite.

Medication, “Farewell Letter”
I can’t remember when or how I came across Medication, but This Town has remained one of my favourite records for years. It’s mostly a thrashing and compelling DIY garage album, but then “Farewell Letter” comes on. It feels personal and painful, dark and sombre. It’s an impassioned interlude.

Cream, “I Feel Free”
My favourite song/album to listen to at the gym.

Kevin Morby, “I Have Been To The Mountain”
I’m running out of interesting things to say about these songs I’ve chosen, and to be honest, I just love Kevin Morby, love his style, and love, love, love this song. If you haven’t seen the music video, watch it. It’s amazing.

Cass McCombs, “Sacred Heart”
“Sacred Heart” is a song I keep coming back to. Its’ melody is light and triumphant, and its’ lyrics poignant and poetic. My favourite lines are its first and last: “Sacred Heart, surveyed from the summit/No, love doesn’t always boomerang.”

Lovin’ Spoonful, “Darlin’ Be Home Soon”
To close, this is the song I’m listening to when we’re on the road, we’re halfway done, and I’m starting to feel a desperate longing for my own bed and my loved ones. I’m nostalgic and a little sappy, but this song makes me think of home.

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