Summer 2017 Playlist

It might not officially be summer yet, but it sure feels like it (at least here in North Carolina)! We’ve put together a playlist of songs dripping with summer vibes, perfect to listen to whether you’re poolside, roadtripping or catching some waves.

Check it out below! 

Show Review: Bad Suns at the Underground

This past Sunday, Bad Suns returned to Charlotte, NC to grace the stage of one of Charlotte’s newest venues, the Underground. After waiting several hours in the cold, everyone was extremely relieved to be let into the venue. As the show was sold out, the venue was packed wall to wall with fans young and old.

From Indian Lakes opened the show, getting the crowd warmed up for the main event. Their set was followed by what can only be described as trance-like music, making Bad Suns’ entrance that much more explosive.

It’s been a pleasure to see Bad Suns continue to top themselves, constantly improving their live show. This one was easily the best performance I’ve seen from them. They opened with the title track from their latest album, “Disappear Here,” and Christo’s vocals were barely audible over the screams of the crowd. 

Bad Suns certainly know how to entertain a crowd, whether playing older fan favorites such as “Cardiac Arrest” and “We Move Like The Ocean” or newer tracks like “Daft Pretty Boys” and “Patience.” Every song was met with enthusiasm. Christo came into the crowd during “Sleep Paralysis,” leaving me clinging to the barricade as screaming girls tried to make their way to him. He stood on the barricade right beside me during “Rearview,” stepping on my elbow a few times and leaving me with some pretty brusies (not that I’m complaining). 

They closed the night with what is arguably their best live song, and one of my personal favorites, “Salt.” Christo reached out to the crowd one final time before making his retreat. Miles threw his drumsticks out and I was lucky enough to catch one of them. They left a crowd full of satisfied fans, just like they always do.

As I stood in the merch queue, I began to really think about their shows. From the beginning, these boys have been something special to me. For me, their shows have never been about their looks or trying to touch Christo or any of the superficial things that draw some people to their shows. It’s always been about the music. I’ll be quite honest and say that I keep my eyes closed during the majority of their shows. I just want to shut the world out and get lost in the music, and their shows are one of the few things that give me that escape. I leave their shows totally stress-free, something I can rarely ever say. For that, I will always be grateful to them. If you’ve never seen Bad Suns live before, it’s something you just have to experience for yourself. I’ll be anxiously waiting for the next time I am lucky enough to see Bad Suns again. 

Check out some of my favorite photos l took of their set Sunday night below.

Mandy’s Top 5 Albums Of 2016

Featured Images via Twitter

5. A/B by Kaleo

Icelandic band Kaleo really pulled out all the stops for their debut album. JJ’s vocals can go from raw and intense to silky and sweet at the snap of a finger, never lacking emotion. The guitar work on this album is nothing short of spectacular. These songs can go from giving you chills to making you want to get up and dance. From the soft ballad “All The Pretty Girls” to the foot-stomping “No Good,” A/B will have you hooked from start to finish.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “No Good”
  • “All The Pretty Girls”
  • “Glass House”
  • “Automobile”
  • “Broken Bones”

4. Disappear Here by Bad Suns

Bad Suns’ sophomore album went in a different direction than their debut, Language & Perspective. It took me by surprise, but in a good way. On the whole, the album has a melancholy feeling to it. Even in the more upbeat tracks, such as “Patience” and “Violet,” have hints of sadness in them. But to me, that just makes the album better. It isn’t superficial like a lot of music is now.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Even In My Dreams, I Can’t Win”
  • “Daft Pretty Boys”
  • “Patience” 
  • “Violet”
  • “Heartbreaker”

3. Viola Beach by Viola Beach

Following the tragic deaths of Viola Beach and their manager in a horrific accident in Sweden earlier this year, an album comprised of their mostly unheard music was released. The fact that this album is so incredibly amazing really hits me hard. These boys would have gone places. They were well on their way to a successful career. This album is a testament to that. From the well-known “Swings And Waterslides” to the heartbreaking ballad “Call You Up,” their music has the power to make you laugh and make you cry. Rest in peace, boys that sing.

Top 5 Tracks

  • “Swings And Waterslides”
  • “Call You Up”
  • “Really Wanna Call”
  • “Drunk”
  • “Boys That Sing”

2.  100 by The Hunna

UK rockers The Hunna really made an impact with their debut album. They’ve seemingly blown up since its release. I even heard one of their songs in a restaurant recently. I think this is due to the fact that this album is rock. Not pop-rock, but real rock. It’s becoming increasingly harder to find a true rock band, so the Hunna were a welcome surprise when I listened to “You & Me” at the recommendation of a friend. From “Bonfire” to “Alive” to “Bad For You,” the Hunna define rock. Definitely a must-listen in the age of Top 40 worshippers.

Top 5 Tracks

  • “You & Me”
  • “Alive”
  • “Piece By Piece”
  • “Bad For You”
  • “Bonfire”

1. Coasts by Coasts

The long-awaited debut album from Coasts was finally released this year. Fans have heard many of these songs in their older forms on EPs and as singles, so it was amazing to finally have a Coasts album. Five years in the making, Coasts is a musical journey from start to finish. Beginning with the well-known “Oceans,” Coasts start us off with the message they chose to convey with their music, positivity. “Modern Love” is a synth lover’s dream, while “Your Soul” is for the percussionist at heart. Some of the best songs lie in the bonus tracks. The bold “Wallow” and the emotional “See How” are two of my personal favorites. This album is just fantastic. Heck, I have lyrics from “Tonight” and “Lions” tattooed on my legs and they aren’t even in my top 5 tracks from this album. It’s just that good, and to me it is the best album of 2016.

Top 5 Tracks

  • “Wallow”
  • “See How”
  • “You”
  • “Modern Love”
  • “Stay”

Mandy’s Top 20 Tracks Of 2016

Featured Images via Twitter

20. “Nothing Personal” by Night Riots

This song is quite literally a banger. It’s impossible not to bob your head along as Travis Hawley belts out the empowered lyrics.

19. “Beggars” by Mainland

This single dropped back in June, a time when I definitely needed the message it gives. “Don’t stop, don’t give up.” 

18. “Really Wanna Call” by Viola Beach
This song is very fun, despite the fact that it was released posthumously. This song is one of many that give the world a glimpse of how far Viola Beach could have gone. Rest in peace.

17. “Daft Pretty Boys” by Bad Suns

“Got no time to waste on another pretty face.” Bad Suns deliver a message of personality over looks with this catchy tune.

16. “Piece By Piece” by The Hunna

This song is always one of my favorites when it comes around on shuffle. It’s one of those songs that sounds bright and happy but has a deeper meaning if you listen closely to the lyrics.

15. “Out Of My Head” by the Griswolds

This song was a bit of an anthem for me in 2016. Sometimes a relationship just goes wrong, so wrong that you don’t even want to think about it or that person ever again. This song embodies that feeling perfectly, and it’s something I think everyone can relate to. 

14. “You & I” by Colony House

I’m new to the Colony House fandom thanks to this song. It’s sure to make any day brighter.

13. “Addicted To You” by Joe Dolman

Folk music isn’t usually in my wheelhouse, but Joe Dolman is one obvious exception to that rule. His newest single, “Addicted To You” details a relationship gone wrong but still one that will be missed. 

12. “Even In My Dreams, I Can’t Win” by Bad Suns 

The title says it all. If you’ve ever felt like no matter what you do nothing ever goes your way, this is the song for you. 

11. “Call You Up” by Viola Beach

Another posthumous release from British band Viola Beach, “Call You Up” is certainly a sad one. It’s impossible for me to listen to it without tearing up.

10. “No Good” by Kaleo

This single from Icelandic band Kaleo is one of my favorites of theirs to see live. It’s full of killer guitar riffs and foot-stomping beats.

9. “Alive” by The Hunna

This track has it all. Amazing vocals, relatable lyrics and a stellar guitar solo.

8. “Talk Too Much” by COIN

This song is nothing short of an earworm. With just one listen it’ll get stuck in your head. But who said that’s a bad thing? 

7. “See How” by Coasts

This song is an emotional one for me. I’ve only ever seen it live once, thanks to an electrical mishap during Coasts’ set one night during which they filled the awkward silence with a stripped down version of this track. The lyrics paint a beautiful yet saddening picture, accompanied by tropical percussion and even an organ. 

6. “Night” by Mulàn 

Mulàn made their mysterious debut back in September with this intriguing track. The intro alone is enough to pull you in. It might be their only song as of yet, but it certainly shows the potential for a bright future. Let’s hope they don’t remain shrouded in mystery for too much longer.

5. “Swings And Waterslides” by Viola Beach

This is probably Viola Beach’s most well-known song, and for good reason. This is the perfect song to blast while you’re driving around with the windows down. It never fails to put a smile on my face.

4. “You & Me” by The Hunna 

One night on a tour bus far away from home, I heard some of the lyrics to this song belted out very badly by a drummer who loves them. I got curious and looked it up, and it made me fall in love with them, too. It’s infectious. 

3. “Washed Up Together” by Knox Hamilton

There’s nothing quite like finally getting your hands on a studio version of a song that you’ve heard live countless times. This song used to get stuck in my head all the time, and I wanted nothing more than to be able to listen to it. I was so excited when it was finally released. It’s still my ringtone to this day. 

2. “Wallow” by Coasts 

When think of this song, the word “anticipation” comes to mind. Every time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Coasts live, they’ve opened with this song, using the fade-in to build anticipation for their set. When the song would hit full force, Chris Caines would finally take the stage, and you knew that Coasts had arrived. There’s nothing quite like that moment for me. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. I hope they never open with anything else.

1. “You Settle Me” by Pixel Fix

This song is very bittersweet for me. Released back in January, it instantly became my favorite song. Little did I know it was going to be the last release from Pixel Fix. I was completely gutted when they announced their breakup in July. One of my biggest regrets in life is never getting to see this song live. Marcus Yates is my favorite vocalist, and his sultry vocals shine on this track. Despite my sadness at their breakup, “You Settle Me” will always be my favorite song, and to me it is the best track of 2016.