Songs Of The Summer 2014: Part Two

This winter was brutal, but we’ve been waiting for summer and now it’s here! Just like last year, we asked our Demo contributors to share a song that reflects their summer so you can have a soundtrack for yours.

By James Li, 4th year, History

Song: Kyoto

Artist: Yung Lean

Album: Unknown Memory

I resisted the urge to write about a song that evoked sunshine or beaches (so that rules out Beach Boys, Wavves, Beach House, Beach Fossils, and Dirty Beaches). For me, summertime in Toronto starts when High Park’s cherry trees are in bloom, and nothing evokes cherry blossom petals swirling in the wind like the reedy flute melody in “Kyoto.” Swedish rapper and “sadboy” Yung Lean doesn’t usually make what people consider “summer music.” Most of his raps are as blue as you would expect from a teenager who’s obsessed with Zooey Deschanel, reads too much Haruki Murakami, and tends to favour foggy, down-tempo production. But Yung Lean is triumphant on “Kyoto,” whether he’s out in Narashino or sipping Cristal with his sadboys, or simply eating pizza or playing Mario Kart. He raps through unwavering Autotune, and his chorus is a self-assured declaration: “Do me, Imma do me, Imma make it mine, Imma make it mine.” Yung Gud outdoes himself on the beat, seamlessly blending flighty traditional Japanese instrumentation with Nintendo 64-era sound effects and skittering trap hi-hats. I didn’t think that my summer would be soundtracked by Swedish teenagers, but what says summer better than playing Mario Kart, blasting some Wu-Tang Clan, and sipping Arizona iced tea?

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