It’s hot. Bloody hot. The Met Office has issued a number of pieces of advice on how to stay cool; from the obvious ones like drinking plenty of water, to staying in the shade and avoiding too much exercise.
What they haven’t said (because why would they?) is which albums you should listen to. So you just leave that to us. The general premise here is albums that don’t require much effort; works of gentle earworms that don’t take up too much of your already-depleted engagement in the heatwave.
Albums that are by no means tedious but linger softly in the background as you do nothing but sweat. Some old, some new, but all goddamn relaxing.
Aim – Cold Water Music
A pretty obvious place to start, but I’ve not just chosen this album because of its title. This congenial record is an intriguing mix of funky electronic and hip hop, none of which is particularly taxing on the eardrums. ‘A Tree, A Rock and a Cloud’ is an especially gentle, tranquil tune.
Another fun bit of heatwave-relate trivia: the album’s title track contains a sample from ‘Maureen in the Desert’, written by Carter Burwell (taken from the soundtrack to the film Psycho III (1986)). Which is exactly how we all feel… if you’re called Maureen.
Moon Panda – What On Earth
I said earlier this year that listening to Danish-US duo Moon Panda’s music is like “floating in a pool on a hot summer’s day or feeling the breeze ruffle through your hair as you ride a bike gently through the wind”. I stand by that. And now we’ve reached the weather where that sounds like just what’s needed, their album is a timely record to listen to.
Katy J Pearson – Sound of the Morning
Released just this month through Heavenly Records, this album is a bit livelier than most on the list, but Katy’s voice is serene enough to offer you that respite. The Bristolian has the ability to transport you to a dusty American state – the kind which is exceedingly hot.
Nightmares on Wax – Carboot Soul
This is one of the ultimate easy-listening-yet-by-no-means-boring albums out there. Carboot Soul’s relaxed trip-hop is played in countless poolside bars across the world – a cool album in numerous senses of the term.
Early copies of the album were reportedly released with a designer packet of Rizla papers, featuring the album’s artwork. That’s according to Shane Blackman’s book Chilling Out: The cultural politics of substance consumption, youth and drug policy. I can’t condone smoking, but in this heat, I can promote the name of his book: chilling out.
Connan Mockasin – It’s Just Wind
Not just an excellent album, but one with a rather touching backstory. The groundwork for this collaborative album between Connan Mockasin and his dad, Ade, was laid after Ade’s near brush with death. That aside, it’s an album that goes on to feel light and spacious, replete with Mockasin’s signature meandering psych-rock, making it an easy listen on a bloody hot day.
Aldous Harding – Warm Chris
Another heat-focused title – even if it’s only ‘warm’. Released in March this year, there are moments that, like Sound of the Morning, also take a require a bit more. But let’s not patronise you; should you be following all other pieces of advice and are sat under an A/C or some shade, give it a listen.
St. Germain – Tourist
[Cue forced pun to find a way of shoehorning this album onto the list whilst making it relevant to the headline…]. This weather really has us Brits feeling like tourists in our own country, doesn’t it? Ironically, St. Germain’s nu and acid jazz album Tourist provides a perfect accompaniment to such a feeling. Funny that. [How was that?]
Khruangbin, Leon Bridges – Texas Moon EP
Okay, so it’s an EP, not an album. But there’s always going to be one that doesn’t conform to the rules. During heatwaves in the UK, rules frankly go out the window: strict uniform adherence is abandoned, transport is often delayed and we can all sneak off to the pub earlier for a cold beer. Actually, those stuff happen anyway. Anyhow, listen to this EP from the loveable pairing of Khruangbin and Leon Bridges.
Wilco – Cruel Country
Frankly, almost all of Wilco’s alt-country albums work a treat in the heat. It’s also another title album that’s rather suited to these current climes. After all, come literal rain or shine, we love a good moan about the weather in this cruel country of ours – where only a very limited temperature range will suit us.