Summer seems to be slipping away faster than sand through my fingers on the beach. Desperate to achieve my main-character-in-a-coming-of-age-movie summer dreams, I scoured the depths of Spotify’s “New Releases,” “Charts” and “Rising Artists” playlists to find the best songs to capture the perfect summer mood. After much digging, here are four artists that I think should be on your summer playlist:
Capturing a spectrum of emotions, singer-songwriter and Stanford University student, EASHA has been able to reach a wide audience with her storytelling-like music. Her first hit single, “Dying is a Beautiful Thing to Do,” was popularized on TikTok and now has over 1.8 million streams on Spotify. Despite its seemingly gruesome title, the song reveals itself to be about a summer romance that becomes the perfect love story. The words “I think dying is a beautiful thing to do” are followed by the line “by your side” as the rest of the song depicts rose-colored scenes of a past.
Her most recent hit, “Far Away,” reached almost 1.4 million streams. On her YouTube channel, EASHA explains “I always knew I wanted grandeur and adventure… get out of my comfort zone of just going to school, coming back, sleeping, having friends but feeling lonely,” and describes her writing process for “Far Away” as “cathartic.” The feeling of wanting to take a leap of faith into the world rather than being confined to a life that hardly mirrors what is shown in movies is a feeling that many empathize with.
The first Cuco song I listened to was “Keeping Tabs” from his 2019 album “Para Mi” and from that moment, I was hooked. His most popular hit, reaching over 107 million streams on Spotify, is “Lo Que Siento” which encapsulates the roses and thorns of being in love. Cuco’s discography is one that you are able to put on shuffle and not have to worry about skipping because, with every song, you will find yourself bobbing your head to the beat.
Cuco may seem like the epitome of the genre of “bedroom pop.” However, he encourages his listeners to refrain from putting his music in a box as he releases various styles of music. Even his two most recent releases “Paradise” and “Forevermore” differ in style as one leans towards radio hip-pop and the other is more instrumental. Cuco’s creativity seeps through his music and is shown through his continuous production of new songs.
With just over 2,500 followers on TikTok and 10,000 streams on his newest album, Kenneth An is a criminally underrated artist. Completely self-produced, Kenneth An has been releasing summer-perfect music since 2017.
His most recent album, “Dreams into Memories” is a dreamy audible version of a love story montage. His most popular song on the album is “Imagine” which conveys a story of unrequited love or as most describe it, a crush.
His first album was released in 2017 titled “Fly, from Loving You.” From the start of the first song on the track, characterized by the sound of the piano, layered over the faint engine of an airplane, you can almost feel the summer sun on your skin and see the movie-like slow-motion running on the beach.
Kenneth An’s dedication to music is displayed through the videos he posts on his social media on both Instagram and TikTok (@kennethanmusic). Followers can see his ability to sing all four parts of an acapella or create a multi-layered song through digital media.
Rising artist Sarah Kinsley’s latest album “The King” is a necessity for your coming-of-age soundtrack. Complete with the feeling of reminiscing in the past, self-reflection and growth, “The King” expresses the vulnerability of change. In her first announcement of the EP, Kinsley explains on her Instagram (@sarahkinsleyd), “these five records are the next phase, the next thing, next rebirth.” Hopefully, “The King” will be playing in the background of everyone’s summer glow-up and their own personal “rebirth.”
Whether you’re crying relating to every word of “I’m Not A Mountain,” daydreaming as you hum the 1970s-inspired melody of “Karma,” or have your tunnel moment while listening to the single “The King,” your summer playlist cannot be complete without Sarah Kinsley.