One of music’s most endearing universal aspects is its ability to bookmark specific periods in life and transport you back to the vibe of an era gone by. So if you listened to a very sad album all summer, you were probably in a different state of mind than someone who spent these warmer months blasting the Beach Boys. We used that logic to construct a retrospective look at some of the most prominent releases from summer 2016 and extrapolate what their listeners did these past few months.
1. Drake, Views (Republic/Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money)
As a kid, summer seemed full of potential and adventure, but it’s totally lost its special magic now that you have to work through it like any other season. These days your life is full of common problems that cause you a lot of anguish, and although you complained about your mundane struggles too much, your friends still love you for orchestrating a few epic outings that you can’t remember but you’ll never forget.
2. Metronomy, Summer 08 (Because
Well, clearly you spent the summer thinking about a past summer that kicked ass.
3. Arca, Entrañas (Not On Label)
You worked hard all summer at your first internship in the fashion industry, where you were turned on to cutting-edge art/clothing stores like Darklands in Berlin. Summer was a blur of catered cocktail parties, nightclubs in the Meatpacking District and the last-last-last Ghe20g0th1k parties.
4. Eric Copeland, Black Bubblegum (DFA)
You were probably drinking beer at squat parties and smoking cigarettes in your junker car as you drove around town with your friends, who live in an antique shop that’s really just a loft filled with dilapidated old furniture.
5. Jackmaster, DJ-Kicks (!K7)
You went to at least one of the big-but-still-kinda-underground summer festivals: Croatian beach parties; Sunwaves; Glastonbury; Weather; maybe even Dekmantel. At some point you definitely partied on a boat.
6. Róisín Murphy, Take Her Up To Monto (PIAS)
7. Pauline Oliveros + Musiques Nouvelles, Four Meditations/Sound Geometries (Sub Rosa)
This summer you learned who Pauline Oliveros is.
8. Clams Casino, 32 Levels (Columbia)
You thought summer was going to be epic. You had plans to go to the lake, rent a cabin with your friends for a long weekend and go on lots of day trips. But then it rained a lot, and every time the sun did shine, you didn’t feel like going outside.
9. Aphex Twin, Cheetah (Warp)
You heard there was a new Aphex Twin release, so you got it.
10. Lolina, Live In Paris (Self-Released)
You started an Instagram account where you post original memes and ugly-cry-face selfies, and a bunch of people from Tinder started following you because they thought the girl in your profile pic was really you.
11. GAIKA, Security (Mixpak)
In early June you fell asleep listening to Skinny Puppy and the first Tricky album, and when you woke up your brain couldn’t process anything else. Fortunately, those things are awesome.
12. Blood Orange, Freetown Sound (Domino)
The world is out of pocket right now—no question. All the bullshit and evil has you feeling some type of way. In fact, you haven’t felt this righteously furious since Azealia Banks cried on Hot 97.
13. Dengue Dengue Dengue!, Siete Raices (Enchufada)
You went backpacking in third-world countries, but you didn’t do any charity work.
14. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool (XL)
You went to a concert for the first time since becoming a parent.
15. Floorpan, Victorious (M-Plant)
You can’t stand gospel—or religion, perhaps—but every time you heard “The Heavens And The Earth”, you lost your shit and found yourself praying the Lord’s name. You’re a better human being now, but you still hate gospel music.
16. Marquis Hawkes, Social Housing (Houndstooth)
You got in a lot of arguments with your friends about whether political correctness is ruining the world, and the point of your summer art project was to be provocative. If you’re a man—which you are—you probably posted daily Facebook statuses about why Hillary Clinton is evil, and you definitely lectured women on why they shouldn’t vote for her.
17. Huerco S., For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Of You Who Have) (Proibito)
You were sleepy and stoned, probably with a snuggly bae—and once you finally outgrew your FOMO, you were able to enjoy it.
18. Autechre, elseq 1-5 (Warp)
When you looked at your bank statement, you noticed that your subscription to Wire was automatically renewed again.
18. Raime, Tooth (Blackest Ever Black)
You bought a lot of black clothes and stood in line at Berghain, but you were rejected right when the pill kicked in. This album is the only thing that helped you make it home.
19. Frank Ocean, Boys Don’t Cry
20. Beyoncé, Lemonade (Parkwood Entertainment)
Published August 30, 2016.