Crueler Summer: Music for the “Summer Scaries”

Hey kids. It’s a been a minute. When we last gathered at the end 2019, the world was a little, uh, different than it is now.

One thing that has remained constant, though, is the nagging sense of dread and melancholy that begins to assert itself in the waning days of summer. These “Summer Scaries” have grown more pronounced during The Covid Years, as the normal ambivalence about the onset of fall (and its implied reflection on mortality) have been heightened by surging Delta cases, coastlines that are either burning flooding or both, and an increasingly frail democracy. It seems like each summer is a little crueler than the one that came before, and each winter a little more bitter.

If you’re feeling especially restless on this Labor Day (a time when the Sunday Scaries and the Summer Scaries reach their confluence), this playlist is for you. There are a couple of b-sides and local tracks on here (including a couple of headnods to PDX Pop Now!’s upcoming Compilation album), but all of it is relentless, unadulterated pop – tracks that remind you that summer will last as long as you can still hop in the car and race the sun into the west.

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