Instant Playlist - July 31 2014

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      “The Mother We Share”
      Synth-saturated sadness has never sounded as sweet as when this Scottish trio does it. It should be fun to watch a sea of sun-addled revellers sing along with Lauren Mayberry during the bit where she says, “I’m in misery.”

      “Lose It”
      Actually, Canadians do dancing-while-I-cry synth-pop as well as anyone. Leading the pack is Austra, which features the fragile beauty of Katie Stelmanis’s near-operatic vocals. We can only pray for a live mashup of this and Eminem’s “Just Lose It”.

      Arctic Monkeys
      “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor”
      Arctic Monkeys are arguably at a career high right now, but their firing-on-all-cylinders debut single from 2005 reminds us how young and snotty they once were, and it also makes us want to dance like a robot from 1984.

      Thievery Corporation
      “Lebanese Blonde”
      See, we always thought this chill-tent classic was about a girl. Turns out the title actually refers to a particularly potent strain of hashish. But since we know that absolutely no one at Squamish will be on drugs of any kind, let’s pretend it’s about a girl after all.

      Lykke Li
      “I’m Good, I’m Gone”
      Do you enjoy playing air drums, air bass, and what may or may not be air castanets? If so, don’t forget to keep your knees on the steering wheel as the deliciously freaky Lykke Li makes you wish you were at a karaoke bar with an air microphone.

      “Cleaning Out My Closet”
      Not exactly the most uplifting number in Marshall Mathers’s back catalogue, and easily the most harrowing, as Eminem rattles off a laundry list of the offences committed against him by everyone from picket-waving protesters to his father and mother.

      Bruno Mars
      “Give It Away”
      To be honest, we can’t really name a Bruno Mars song other than the excellent “Give It Away” jam he wrote for the Red Hot Chili Peppers for their tag-team Super Bowl half-time performance in January. It says something that not even Anthony Kiedis was able to ruin it.

      Broken Bells
      “The Ghost Inside”
      In which a nerdy indie rocker and an impossibly cool hip-hop producer unite to produce one of the most deliciously chilled-out urban-music jams this side of everything ever released by Lovage. (For a true taste sensation, pair with the CeeLo Green parody “The Ol’ Sauseej”.)

      “Tokyo Summer”
      Ten years from now, when you flash back to what’s been a mostly golden (read: refreshingly rain-free) summer, this exotic-sounding exercise in thinking person’s pop is what will play in your head. They don’t call Mounties a supergroup for nothing.

      Sam Roberts Band
      “Brother Down”
      Even if you can totally relate when Sam Roberts sings the great hook “I think my life is passing me by,” does that really matter when you are taking in the scenery on the majestic Sea-to-Sky Highway?

      “Hip Hop Is Dead”
      Nas was dead wrong, of course, but we’ll forgive him because he’s one of the greatest MCs of all time, and also because this is the best use of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” since Michael Mann’s Manhunter.