This is the first year where I’m putting the Summer Songs series on hold – too much else going on – but that doesn’t mean my summer listening has disappeared or anything. The thing is though…in any given summer, my heaviest rotation songs are almost never from that actual summer and 2012 (so far) is no different. Here’s the top rundown:

Lianne La Havas: Is Your Love Big Enough?
From digital single (Nonesuch, 2012)

Lily Allen: Smile (Mark Ronson Revisit)
From internet single (2007)

Cloud Control: Just For Now
From Bliss Release (Turnout, 2011)

Ronny Lapine: Side By Side
From 12″ (Hop Scotch, 198?)

Brother Jack McDuff: Shadow Of Your Smile
From Tobacco Road (Atlantic, 1967)

Lianna La Havas’s song is actually from this summer and while I’m not sure what it means to be trapped inside a secondhand guitar, she has such a lovely verve in her voice, I suppose it wouldn’t be the worst place to be trapped (so long as she’s keeping you company).

The Lily Allen remix is something I heard at Devil’s Pie last night.1 Love the interpolation of “I’m Your Puppet” on here. I don’t know how this missed my radar the first time through but I’ve been playing it so heavily in the car, I’m making up for lost time.

Cloud Control’s “Just For Now” – I am not ashamed to say – is something I heard whilst watching Magic Mike the other week and for whatever reason, I’ve been on a real “acoustic guitar folk rock” tip of late and this totally hit my sweet spot. Whether or not the song intends to have a double-meaning, I associate the phrase “Just For Now” with an excuse to leave soon vs. what the song seems to be about, which is the promise of “I will return”, after, presumably, these lads go on some existential journey of self-discovery, and most likely, a car/Abercrombie ad.

I discovered this Ronny Lapine single through, of all places, a Swedish record site even though the 12″ was cut in Burbank, mere miles from me in L.A. It’s a great piece of modern soul but it took me repeated listenings to figure out that this probably isn’t a love song…it’s about the Christian afterlife. Seriously, this is like blue-eyed gospel yacht rock. That’s a good thing, in this case.2

As for Brother Jack McDuff, I revisited this classic soul jazz tune after wracking my brain to remember what the hell Action Bronson sampled for “Shiraz” and felt like an idiot when I remembered, duh, it’s McDuff.3 I cannot get enough of this sound/style though it’s been a long time since I really sat with jazz of this era. I need to get back there.

And last (and possibly least):

  1. Pet peeve but I cannot find a good quality – 256/320 – version of this. Just to make matters worse, this is the second Ronson remix so trying to search for this version is already tricky enough and to boot: Wale appears on some versions of this and just trust: he’s not value-added on this tune.
  2. Unless I’m crazy, this is the same Lapine and he’s still doing his thing here in Southern CA.
  3. Always love how Bored Stiff flipped part of this same track for “Peaceful Rotation ’92“.