Summer Guide 2021: Orlando artists to soundtrack your summer

Sounds of the city

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Body Shop
Body Shop Photo by Andrea Soldner

Music is an inextricable element of almost any summer experience: concerts, parties, beach trips or lying in your bed and letting the days pass by dreamily. Here are some newer local sounds that our writers think capture the essence of the fabled "summer jam."

"Big Sky Now" by Sad Halen
This dreamy track manages to exude absolute sunshine while maintaining its My Bloody Valentine-esque dark shoegaze feel. You're the main character when listening to "Big Sky Now," because nothing else matters when this magnetic track is playing. The song radiates a beachy aura that fit for any summer day. Here's to a very tropical goth summer! (MPC)

"Desert" by Body Shop
In this desolate, post-apocalyptic wasteland, I present to you an oasis: "Desert" by Body Shop, one of six alluring tracks on FL3SH WORLD. "Desert," brought to you by members of Spoon Dogs and Red Rodeo, is equal parts exhilarating and enchanting. Knees in the sand, eyes to the sky, "Desert" is that ice cold water in the cup of your hands. You survived. It's time to be alive. (IVE)

"88 Days a Week" by Niko Is & California Terry
When you get to our age, summer becomes a season awash in nostalgia. Hearing "88 Days a Week," with dense production from CT that nods to RZA and freewheeling verses from Orlando native Niko Is — the first line a nod to Method Man's seminal "Bring the Pain" — we're reminded of picking up cassettes at Peaches and blasting them on old car stereos. Conveniently, Illuminated Paths has done a run of cassettes of the album, and that's the best way to hear this anthem for days full of possibilities and no obligations. (MM)

"For Ya" by 3D Boy
From school, work or whatever, summer's about being free. That's why "For Ya" by 3D Boy — the solo guise of Terry Caudill (Flashlights, Waxed) — is the MVP anthem of my Orlando playlist this summer. A bottle rocket of unchained rock melody, it's the sound of bursting hearts. Whether it's for barreling down the highway toward the beach or just falling in mad-ass love, "For Ya" is the one to crank. And though it's the clear star of this year's I Love You EP, the whole record's great and is still up as a donation-based download on Bandcamp. (BLH)

"Sleep" by Expert Timing
We're fully aware that the governor says it's OK to go out to shows again. But after the year we've had, can you blame us for being a little wary? Orlando's emo-bubblegum mainstays Expert Timing have come up with an elegant solution: a live EP that captures the sound of long-ago live experiences perfectly and distributes them to the housebound. The playground riffs on "Sleep" and Katrina Snyder's Mosshartian vocal performance are almost enough to lure us out to the scattering of live shows steadily starting to crop up ... almost. (AG)

"Single" by Brill6
If you listen to DJ Baby Lac Radio on Mixlr or YouTube, you may have heard Brill6's "407," his ode to Orlando's hip-hop history. But it's his latest release, "Single" — the bright, fresh, danceable track from his forthcoming album — that belongs on this list. Nothing tops a hopeful break-up sing-along song to kick off the summer. And Brill6, who produces his own beats and is forever on the lookout for new sounds, delivers all that and then some. (SK)

"Thinking I'd Like to Get Hip to All the Nature Shit Around Here" by Future Bartenderz
This tongue-in-cheek paean to the outdoor splendor of Central Florida winks at you while elbowing you in the ribs hard with jerky Devo-esque punk. The lyrics run down bucolic sights aplenty — including deep cuts like bioluminescent kayak tours — while packing in laugh lines about losing cell service on a nature trail and being mocked for the wrong footwear. (The off-mic smirk about Chelsea boots hit hard.) Feel-good hit of the summer. (MM)

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