From powering road trips to setting the atmosphere on the back deck, playlists are fuel for summer’s sunshine-y days. No pressure, but the right song in the right moment is what takes a moment and turns it into a memory, fuelling your main character aspirations with a dose of cinematic energy. Here, Team Coast is sharing a slew of new releases—from folky albums to hip hop singles—that will help you build the ultimate summer 2023 playlist, whatever that looks like for you:
Chances are, you may have already heard that Jenn Grant has a new record out—either from her recent interview with The Coast or thanks to the cool mural of her album art that Ghettosocks and PekingDon created on the wall of Edna restaurant. Champagne Problems is an album that sees Grant partnering with a who’s who of Canadian music to create a project she compares to “a quilt” celebrating the Canadian singer-songwriter scene.
General Khan, the rapping alter-ego of Halifax activist Masuma Khan, dropped the first single off her upcoming EP On God, the project’s title track, earlier this month. A continued case study in the warm sounds of mid-’90s rap, the track is for fans of Shad, A Tribe Called Quest and golden age bars.
The scrappy punk stalwart Like A Motorcycle is back with the single “I Think I Like It?”, released late June. Keeping the crunchy guitars and early Strokes vibe that made the band’s 2020 album Dead Broke anthemic, the new single sounds like Lucy Dacus shaved her head and leaned into her positive nihilist tendencies.
Country singer-songwriter Brooklyn Blackmore’s latest single might just be her most emotive yet: “Here is my healing, my heart and my truth. I have never been this open and vulnerable, but I feel bold. I feel strong. I am taking back my power,” the musician posted on her Instagram when she announced the arrival of “Been There Too” earlier this month. The sound highlights Blackmore’s Shania Twain influences while detailing the ways intimate violence forever shakes survivors—and offering them hope: “I been there too, but I made it through” is the sort of lyric Kacey Musgraves wishes she wrote.
If the success of the city’s premier streetwear label Family Over Fame allowed you to forget that its founder, Alex “Cunny” Ross, also makes music, the MC has a new mixtape out that’ll remind you that he’s got as many hooks as hoodies. Across Forever Isn’t Forever’s four tracks, Ross brings a smooth-silk, Drake affectation to the mic that promises to keep any summer party you’re planning hot all night long.
Halifax band Horsebath has the kind of backstory that borders on the cinematic: After a chance meeting in a rideshare, the musicians decided to launch an Americana band, thanks to mutual musical interests. The love of tunes and the road took them all the way to Texas and back, perfecting their country-tinged style along the way over countless live shows. All that practice did indeed make perfect, as the band’s new, four-track EP—out June 30—proves: Recorded live off the floor in an A-frame cabin in rural Quebec with recording engineer Guillaume Briand (Supertramp) at the helm, it immediately brings the honky-tonk of your dreams to mind. Get into the vibe with an early single from the band:
Singer-songwriter Callum Gaudet’s latest single “Wolves” might be inspired by bedtime stories of good and evil, but don’t you dare sleep on it: Organ and guitar lines unfold as Gaudet doles out lyrics like “When a heartbeat starts / Till the blood runs cold / No, the young don’t want to get old.” Gaudet’s voice sounds like indie gold, the sort of baritone that calls niche famous acts like Rainbow Kitten Surprise or Orville Peck to mind. Luckily, what that voice is saying glitters just as bright: Song craft that’ll make your toes tap with its relentless rhythm.
The four-piece band Good Dear Good spent the last few years on so many local live music bills that, chances are, its name on a hydro pole has become a sight on your daily mental health walk. But if you haven’t listened to the band, may we suggest you get to it? The band’s new, debut effort, the seven-track Arrival is, obvs, the best place to begin: An indie rock album produced by local legend John Mullane, it balances synth-y textures and rock rhythms for an addictive listening experience.
Halifax hip hop collective Let Dreams Be Noticed is keeping busy as ever this summer: Member SOS Benji’s newest single “148” is a Future-inspired song that slays.