Aural Fixation: 6/17 (A Weekly Music Playlist)

Make way, Darling: New Britney music coming through!

Hot off its On Air With Ryan Seacrest premiere, Britney’s sweet and flirty summer single was the inspiration for this week’s Aural Fixation. In honor of the bangin’ new Britney cut, I’ve put together a summer sampler of some new grooves full of colorful sounds and bright, catchy melodies. Every song I have to share with you this week is major summer music that instantly put a smile on my face—and I hope they do the same for you!

Listen to the tracks individually as you read my reviews below, or follow along as you listen through the whole playlist (< Click the link for the full half-hour of sweet new tunes!) on my SoundCloud. 

Whether you’re at work, with friends, or unwinding by the pool—Aural Fixation’s got you covered, darling!

 

@Litzwich

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The 1975: “Chocolate”

If “Chocolate” doesn’t put a smile on your face, I’m not sure what to say. The lyrics are the bitter to the instrumentation’s sweet, but together they’re bliss—an array of energetic sounds awash with the eager ambiance of youth. It’s instantly lovable, and a surefire staple for any playlist you put together this summer.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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Walk The Moon: “Anna Sun”

Confession: I have the biggest crush on this song. It just makes me feel like I’m falling in love: glowing head-to-toe with a gorgeous tan, dangling my bare feet out the window as neon lights whiz by in a blur overhead. I love everything about it—and everything else I’ve heard from Walk The Moon because of it. “Anna Sun” is dreamy sunset alt-rock with indie cred and slick pop flair, built around big chords and even bigger hooks that feel like old friends you haven’t seen in ages.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

 

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The Summer Set: “Boomerang”

An apropos name for making a splash on summer radio if ever I saw one, The Summer Set has arrived on the scene with some serious explaining to do: Where has this huge summer song been hiding? The band’s throwing “Boomerang” out as a single from their stellar album ‘Legendary,’ and it’s an undeniably smart decision: The song is steeped in early-’00s punk-pop and drizzled with gooey teen-pop feel-good. Even after a single listen—just like its namesake—the infectious chorus of “Boomerang” comes back again and again, with a hook sweet enough to keep you smiling all summer long.

 

Catch The Summer Set’s “Boomerang” on SoundCloud or hear it as part of the full listen-through of this week’s playlist. (Click either link in green to listen!)

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Fifth Harmony: “Miss Movin’ On”

Following a tremendous live performance of Ellie Goulding‘s “Anything Can Happen” in the finals of The X Factor, I’ve kept an eye on girl group Fifth Harmony. Since the show, they’ve done a series of outstanding acoustic and acapella covers on YouTube (including Rihanna‘s “Stay” and Lana Del Rey‘s “American,” among others). In the tradition of huge better-off-without you Kelly Clarkson pop-rock anthems comes “Miss Movin’ On,” which borrows none-too-subtly from former mentor Demi Lovato‘s bag of tricks—and to pretty powerful effect. While it’s not quiiite their heart-melting assist on Boyce Avenue‘s version of “Mirrors,” it definitely piques the interest, and whatever an album from the girls has in store, it’s sure to be surprising.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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Mike Posner: “The Way It Used To Be”

Best known for more R&B-leaning projects like his successful single “Cooler Than Me” and Bieber‘s “Boyfriend” (which he penned), Mike Posner seems to be doing a bit of rebranding with the guitar-centric groove of  “The Way It Used To Be,” a song nostalgic for summer love. On the song, Posner sounds something like a more pop Bruno Mars (without the self-aggrandizing attitude), pulling no punches with polished production and a continuously melodic bounce that drives the song to its simple, effective finish. It’s radio-ready and, really, quite good.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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Kimberly Caldwell: “Doin’ Me Right”

I’ve been a fan and supporter of Kimberly Caldwell since her ‘American Idol‘ days—her rendition of Melissa Etheridge‘s “Come To My Window” was love at first listen for my young gay ears. “Doin’ Me Right” is definitely a different direction from previous efforts “Mess Of You” and “Desperate Girls & Stupid Boys,” but Caldwell’s throaty, P!nk-hued rasp is a throwback throw-down. The ’80s influence and silly abandon are absolutely everything summer jams are about, but Caldwell gives the sound some authenticity with the truly special tone of the voice that landed her on TV over a decade ago. It works, and it’s a blast.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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Karmin: “Acapella”

I’ll be honest and say I haven’t been the hugest fan of Karmin up until now, but “Acapella” might just have the power to change my perception. More than anything, this track is pure pop fun—a sassy and searing kiss-off cut full of singer/rapper Amy Heidemann‘s now surprisingly trademark style. The healthy dose of quirk and sing-song groove are interwoven with some pretty funny lyrics and a ton of personality, making for the exact kind of solo jam that makes spending the summer single not seem so bad.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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Britney Spears: “Ooh La La”

Last but not never least is Miss Spears herself, who took to radio less than an hour ago to premiere the final version of the sticky-sweet “Ooh La La.” A demo of the song made its rounds on the internet a few weeks back, but the real deal has finally arrived with the Spears stamp of approval. Britney recorded “Ooh La La” for the soundtrack to ‘The Smurfs 2‘ (a surprise for her boys, who are huge Smurfs fanatics), but it’s tailor-made for the airwaves—and here in Austin, just in time for the heatwaves.

The summer single “is straight up pop and has a really young feel to it” (straight from the mouth of Spears herself), with the chorus cheekily and unexpectedly veering from Britney’s cutsey, heavy dance pre-chorus breakdown into a state of pop elation. Breezy guitar and Brit’s girly vocals support the song’s massive hook with the sonic equivalent of sugary sprinkles, on top of the icing on top of the proverbial cake. It’s big, but even better—it’s Britney.

And what makes Britney feel ooh la la? “Chocolate,” of course. (Us too, Brit!)

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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Remember to buy the songs you love to support the artists that made them!

Tweet and follow me on Twitter @Litzwich to give your feedback—let me know what you can’t stop listening to!

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