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Albums That Got us Through the Summer: Single Sentence Staff Picks, by RedHawk Radio Writers

As the summer comes to an end, our staff reflected on the albums we had on repeat this season. Whether new or old, charmingly upbeat or beautifully melancholic, the albums we chose will forever be the soundtrack to our memories of summer 2023.

To challenge ourselves to better understand why these albums meant so much to us, we imposed a one-sentence limit on these reviews. Below is a varied collection that speaks to the unique personality and experiences of each writer.

I Love You Jennifer B (2022) by Jockstrap

Pick from Henri Robbins, assistant editor.

Jockstrap’s first full album is what would happen if you gave a synthesizer and a microphone to a character from a David Lynch film: strange, crooning, witty, and intentionally naive.

In The End It Always Does (2023) by The Japanese House

Pick from Sophie Dull, writer.

With a refreshing breath of what it feels like to finally embrace the unpredictability of adulthood, Amber Bain layers her newest synth-pop album with her experiences on a path to self-acceptance; she teaches the lesson that in the end everything will work out as it should.

Rat Saw God (2023) by Wednesday

Pick from Eleanor Prytherch, writer.

With track names like “Hot Rotten Grass Smell” and “TV in the Gas Pump,” Wednesday delivers a hazy, buzzing, cowboy-punk record perfect to pair with a summer spent under-stimulated in a small midwestern town.

Sunburn (2023) by Dominic Fike

Pick from Megan Harrison, assistant editor.

Fike writes an ode to summer with this album, effortlessly stringing together the feelings of love, change, and time moving with his fun lyrics and warm guitar rhythms. He captures the essence of the season with ease.

No Joy (2023) by Spanish Love Songs

Pick from Ethan K. Poole, writer.

In a packed room in the back of a Cleveland bowling alley with my brother, I listened to a band I'd never heard of play songs off their new album for the first time live, and as I heard that whiny tone that Midwestern punk is known for create the perfect vibe for the performance and as the people around us sang along to songs I'd never heard, I just couldn't help but smile and hum along with them.

One of These Nights (1975) by Eagles

Pick from GraciAnn Hicks, senior editor.

Some things truly do get better as they age; lush harmonies, meandering guitar solos and a sprinkle of strings make this the perfect soundtrack for road trips, campfires, and open-window nights.

1989 (2014) by Taylor Swift.

Pick from Rachel Foley, writer.

Sometimes I just have to accept that I'm just a 20-year-old teenage girl who loves these breakout pop beats in Swift's first all-pop album, which has amazing vocals and lyrics all around.

Apolonio (2020) by Omar Apollo

Pick from Rachel Watkins, writer.

An album that’s great to dance to in the comfort of your bedroom — preferably at night with little to no AC — Apolonio will make you feel confident, sexy and young.

Disappear Here (2016) by Bad Suns

Pick from Abby Adamson, writer.

Bad Suns delivers a 45-minute record packed with both danceable '80s flair and a modern indie-rock punch; Disappear Here is a quintessential “hands out the window” summer album that expertly tackles the universal feelings of falling in (and out) of love.

Pick from John Waterhouse, writer.

Lana shows off her unlimited range from gut-wrenching ballads to electric-filled pop, so fading into and falling in love with this album is easy.

Get Up (2023) by NewJeans

Pick from Karla Garcia, writer.

Get Up is “so fresh, so clean” and the perfect mixture of simple, yet high-quality, sounds: a feel-good album that transcends K-pop and brings a new meaning to music as an aesthetic.

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