The Highlighter Playlist, VI: CMJ Selections

By WSN Arts Staff

This week, in celebration of New York City’s biggest music festival, the Arts Squad dives into the truly memorable tracks this year’s CMJ lineup have released. Enjoy!

E.R. Pulgar, Highlighter Editor

Dreaming by Smallpools

Saccharine-sweet and endlessly energetic, the first song that this now-prominent indie pop band released is powerful enough to trump the test of time. I remember hearing this when I was still figuring out why indie music was so sad all the time; this was the first time I heard the genre sound almost happy. With it’s pile-driver synths and peppy guitar running through the whole song made it the song of the summer for the underground crowd back in 2013; listening to it two years later, I can channel drives to the beach, warm air on my face, windows down, the laughter of my friends. It’s a song for good memories, it’s a song to jam out, and it would be a shame if they didn’t include it on their CMJ set.

Zach Martin, Film Editor

“Comfy in Nautica” by Panda Bear

Panda Bear is probably one of the most established artists at CMJ, having achieved great success with his band Animal Collective, his solo career, and collaborations with artists like Daft Punk. Although he released a new album earlier this year entitled “Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper,” I decided to go with the opener to his 2007 album “Person Pitch”. Not only is the principal sample is from the score to a powerful film called “The Thin Red Line” (which I highly recommend you watch), but it also has a characteristically beautiful Beach Boys style vocal melody laced overtop. Let the song’s hypnotic loops wash over you and “try to remember always just to have a good time.”

Michael Waller, Music Staff Writer (from Music Desk’s “Love Songs” Playlist)

“The Purple Bottle” by Animal Collective

In the vast repertoire of Animal Collective love songs, this song stands out from other great tunes like “Bluish” and “Winter’s Love” for its ambiguity. Much in the same way that George Harrison’s songs blur the subjects of romantic and religious love, the focus of the lyrics in “The Purple Bottle” might be Avey Tare’s (now ex) wife or it might be drugs (and who doesn’t love drugs?) or it might be both at the same time. My bet is on the latter, the intensity of Avey’s love being compared to the intensity of a strong high in the song’s final section.

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