Sweet Tracks from the Huckle Playlist
The longest day of the year has passed. The days will keep shortening until the Winter Solstice on 21 December. Sounds gloomy, right? That might be factually accurate, but what’s also true is that it’s now officially summer.
Summer is all about barbecues, beer gardens, and, this year, the World Cup. Despite captain Kane twice falling victim to Tunisia’s goalmouth wrestlers, England got their campaign off to a good start. Now all eyes turn to the Panama game on Sunday.
Summer is also about sleeping with the windows open and listening to the sounds of wild London in full swing. Whether you feel like joining the madness or buying earplugs, this selection of bangers from around the world should warm you up nicely for silly season.
It’s the latest instalment of our seasonal music selection. Welcome to Songs for Summer.
1. Enjoy with a glass of elderflower cordial
Sink a little deeper into your sun lounger and drift away to this smooth, soulful number. Remember, it’s no big deal.
Nothing says summer like Roy Ayers. Which is probably why, at the age of 78, he’s still in demand and touring. In fact, he’s playing a series of shows at the Jazz Cafe in London in July.
Roy Ayers Music Productions (RAMP) didn’t count Mr Ayers among their members, but he did write and produce songs for their only album, released in 1977, from which this beautiful track is taken.
2. Best served with Campari and soda
An air of expectation. The feeling that you’re on the cusp of a very fun night. This right here is your post-barbecue-transition-into-party-mode track.
Bursting with positivity, this funky track, inspired by Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up”, makes full use of the classic trumpet, saxophone, flute, and keyboards combination.
Nova are a somewhat obscure funk-disco outfit from Hawaii. Back in the 80s, they specialised in what’s known colloquially as hapa hoale music: a style inspired by both Hawaiian and western influences.
3. For the Caipirinha lovers
Now we’re heading to Brazil. This one is a hybrid of disco and Bahian samba, with an uplifting chorus surrounded by joyful percussion.
Gilberto Gil built his Grammy-award-winning career creating music that reflects his political awareness. When the military dictatorship took control of Brazil in 1964, he was considered a threat and imprisoned. Ironically, in 2003 he became Brazil's Minister of Culture.
A supremely talented musician, Gil has combined the sounds of baião, samba, Brazilian soul, and reggae to great effect across his many, many studio albums.
4. The old-school house banger…from South Africa
It’s impossible not to dance to this one. Crank it up and feel the end-of-apartheid elation bouncing from your speakers.
Just accept it. The sunny piano chords, swirling synthesiser effects, and encouraging shouts of ‘yo!’ are too much to resist.
A vibrant mix of Chicago house, hip-hop swagger, and African rhythms, kwaito emerged in South Africa as segregation was experiencing its death throes. Professor 3, originally released by Professor Rhythm in 1991, has just been rereleased by Awesome Tapes From Africa.
5. Closing down the party
This is the last song of the last set at a music festival. Harness the disco energy to eke out a few more skanks on tired but jubilant legs.
We never want the fun to end. But when it does, this track should be playing. That bass line. That flamenco guitar break. A heady combination to cement peak experiences into wonderful memories. Sigh.
Wings was founded by Paul McCartney in 1971, and featured his wife Linda on keyboards. During their 10 year run, they had an impressive 12 top ten singles.
Happy listening. And come on England