Design by Emily Schwartz

Summer came and went with a lot of music to sift through. Don’t get overwhelmed, though, because the Daily Music writers are here to help you out. Below, find the Music Beats favorite singles and albums of the summer, for any kind of music taste.

Step by Step” by Braxe + Falcon feat. Panda Bear

In 2013, Animal Collective’s Panda Bear teamed up with French house legends Daft Punk for the song “Doin’ It Right,” a fun dance tune that felt like a one-time-only genre crossover for Panda Bear. However, this past summer Panda Bear unexpectedly returned to French house for the song “Step by Step,” teaming up with two more legends of the genre: DJ Falcon, a former solo artist on Thomas Bangalter’s Roulé label, and Alan Braxe, who recorded the hit “Music Sounds Better with You” with Bangalter and Benjamin Diamond. Instead of simply rehashing the sample-heavy upbeat sounds of ’90s house, Braxe, Falcon and Panda Bear offer a modern and mature interpretation of the genre that features silky synth pads, groovy drum and bass lines, and breathtaking vocal harmonies. While the other three songs released on the Step by Step EP are also fantastic, the title track stands out as not just the best song of the bunch but also as one of the best songs of the summer.

Daily Arts Writer Jack Moeser can be reached at

Into the Sun” by Superorganism, Gen Hoshino, Stephen Malkmus, Pi Ja Ma

After a content drought for the last few years, Superorganism put out their second album World Wide Pop this summer and it did not disappoint. The eighth track, “Into the Sun”, is a quintessential Superorganism bop, a kaleidoscope of brain-tickling synths and computer effects packaged neatly into an indie-pop aesthetic. Lead vocalist Orono Noguchi’s deadpan vocals glide effortlessly from verse to verse, guiding you through the hyper-pop universe the song traverses. The sexy French interjections also make my day. It’s a game of extremes: there’s a lot going on, but at the same time, it’s fairly straightforward. It’s got the chill laid-back vibe that would be perfect for a nice summer kickback, but still has enough energy to be a head-banger. 

Daily Arts Writer Jason Zhang can be reached at

Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy

In the age of TikTok, where new songs go viral every day, it’s hard to pick just one that defined my summer. That being said, Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” is what I’ve had on repeat since day one. While Lacy’s whole album, Gemini Rights, was a great release that showcased Lacy’s lyrical talent and unique production, “Bad Habit” was the perfect song to carry us through the summer. With a catchy hook and an upbeat instrumental, listening to this tune with the windows down is a part of the quintessential July beach day. Lacy’s vocals are at their peak and he utilizes them masterfully. With his classic airy vocals on the verses and a more rough, edgy sound on the bridge, Lacy puts a spotlight on his voice as opposed to production with “Bad Habit.” The most impressive part of the song is the bridge, when the instrumentals drop out and all you can focus on is Lacy’s voice lamenting all the “could’ves” of a relationship that never was. 

Despite this, the song’s lyrics aren’t exactly upbeat and happy, which is why it’s also the perfect transition into fall. At this point, the song has been trending on TikTok since its release on June 29, 2022. It’s a new classic and Lacy’s biggest hit yet, hitting number two on the Billboard Hot 100. I can’t imagine it’s going away anytime soon. 

Daily Arts Writer Gigi Ciulla can be reached at

Love Me More (Clark Remix)” by Mitski

When indie rock and art pop royalty Mitski announced the release of the remix of her song “Love Me More” by dark electronic producer Clark, there were pretty much two reactions. The first one came from Mitski stans, who left hoards of comments on her Instagram announcement post (user pandaopike’s comment “mitski ilysm but let’s not please.” is right around the average). Meanwhile, the comments on Clark’s announcement post became so toxic that he had to disable them. But others simply appreciated Mitski’s music (summed up best by user emmelineoge’s comment “why are y’all so mean i like that it’s a bit different”). 

The most striking point about this track is its entirely unique sound. Even the mere suggestion of her collaboration with Clark conjures up a perplexing image, given how much of an industry-standard Mitski’s sound is within her genres and how consistently avant-garde Clark has remained within IDM (intelligent dance music). It seemed frankly untenable. And yet, there is something both mystically subtle and hypnotically propulsive that Clark unlocks in Mitski’s music, which allows the remix to shine the way it does. It completely shifts from the original, taking on a much darker and more intense tone while also forgoing its ’80s synth-pop aesthetic. Additionally, whereas the original has a decidedly more static progression, Clark is extremely comfortable in building up the track like a series of waves, each one presenting a new idea or textural platform for Mitski’s enduring vocals. In effect, “Love Me More” transforms from a catchy disco-adjacent love ballad about sticking out hope for a better tomorrow to a cinematic moment of desperation that emphasizes the cyclical spiral of desire. Looking at the press release, it is clear that this seemingly miraculous instance of musical chemistry was not by chance. Mitski writes, “Clark’s music, specifically his album Death Peak, was what opened my eyes to contemporary electronic music. It showed me how emotive it could be. So when I was asked to do a remix, he was the first and only person that came to mind for the job.” Clark came and, despite the best efforts of stan culture to minimize Mitski’s openness to artistic transformation, delivered a remarkable work that potentially offers a new horizon for Mitski to embark upon in the future.

Daily Arts Writer Drew Gadbois can be reached at

Toll” by Naima Bock

There are so many moments that make up a summer, and Naima Bock’s song “Toll” (off of her debut album Giant Palm) represents those often forgotten. The 5 p.m. moments, spent in between the lake swim and the beach bonfire, where there’s nothing to do but rest with yourself for a while — here, Bock’s music sits hand in hand with you. The artist, currently living and working in the London scene, creates a kaleidoscope on this song with her almost medieval folk sound, combining guitar with vivid flute, strings and other orchestral instruments. Through it, you can almost see the sun winking at you, but never quite in the way that you would expect. Bock’s voice is the spiderweb over it all, with its low tone resting just in between your shoulder blades. As we all grow older, and summers turn more and more to internships and full-time jobs and become rife with professional expectations instead of fun ones, her music is just what is needed on the evenings where you still find time to lie in the grass as the insects emerge and the world fills with music other than your own.

Senior Music Editor Rosa Sofia Kaminski can be reached at 

Best Albums of the Summer: 

Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar

After a five-year solo hiatus, Kendrick Lamar exceeded expectations yet again with his final studio album with Top Dawg Entertainment, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. The album explores previously uncharted moral territory for Lamar, deconstructing the mental states of the rapper himself, as well as those close to him. Where good kid, m.A.A.d. city serves as an indictment of his Compton community, To Pimp a Butterfly serves as an examination of the Black experience in America and DAMN. attacks the moral fiber of America itself, Morale reels in the focus and centers around an examination of self. Under the microscope this time around are Lamar’s relationships with his wife, children and family, and how his own upbringing influenced his (sometimes flawed, as he admits) perspective on parenting. 

Several songs serve as character studies of his interactions with given family members, before pointing out the prevalence of whatever the underlying strain on the relationship is at an institutional level. At its most direct, this concept is a heated spat between partners on “We Cry Together,” filled with anger, aggression and a phenomenal guest appearance from actress Taylour Paige, turning into an exposé on modern love and the current state of relationships. However, it often manifests itself in a more subdued way, such as in “Auntie Diaries,” where he tells the story of his transgender uncle, and “Mother I Sober,” which details the epidemic of child sexual abuse within his community. The shifting of his music’s focus from the workings of society to his own relationships has made this album his most vulnerable and personal. 

Daily Arts Writer Ryan Brace can be reached at

2000 by Joey Bada$$

Joey Bada$$ makes bangers. There’s no doubt about it. But if foo-foo-fans were looking to add more high BPM ragers to their tailgate AUX, I can imagine Joey’s latest album, 2000, left them feeling devastated. The rest of us, however, were able to thoroughly enjoy a group of the grooviest tunes to ever slap summer ears. 

If you don’t have the patience to check out the whole record, I’d start with “Show Me,” a smooth slower jam that somehow out-vibes its “Men I Trust” hook. Then you might want to pick it up a little with “Head High,” a more classic Joey bop that simultaneously lifts the mood and churns the mind. By this point, I think you’ll want to listen to the whole album, but be sure not to miss “Zipcodes,” because it might just be the best four minutes of music released this year. 

Happy listening.

Daily Arts Writer Joshua Medintz can be reached at

Florist by Florist 

Brooklyn indie-folk band Florist released their self-titled fourth album during the lull of deep summer. I found myself sitting under the fluorescent lighting of a cubicle for most of the season, longing for a few extra hours in the sunlight. When I came across Florist, it felt a bit like fate. The album is full of natural sounds and charming deluges of soft guitar strums, the perfect way to combat desk-job sterility. 

Florist captures a sense of summer yearning with its beautifully understated production. It’s slow-paced without being lethargic, sometimes sad but mostly warm and tender. Nature is a central force in the project, placing the listener somewhere deep in the mountains with its misty ambience. Birdsong, cricket chirps and rain showers punctuate some of the most moving musings on love I’ve heard in a while. On “Spring in Hours,” vocalist Emily Sprague sings, “You are the kind of person that comes from the flower’s center / You landed in this dimension / There’s love in all your senses.”

Florist is characterized by dreamy instrumentals, but it would be a mistake to write the project off as mere ambient indie. Its poetic lyricism is unmatched and encapsulates the bittersweet feelings of fleeting summer perfectly.

Music Beat Editor Nora Lewis can be reached at

Un Verano Sin Ti by Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny shows us just how deeply rooted reggaeton is in his musical diaspora on his latest project, Un Verano Sin Ti. With nods to Bachata, Dembow, Cumbia and Merengue, Un Verano Sin Ti is a celebration of Caribbean culture and a unifying expression of joy for Latinx people. 

Where reggaeton can often be predictable and overdrawn, Bad Bunny, aka Benito Martínez Ocasio, proves himself to be of disparate taste — choices in instrumentation and cadence continually surprise. His is a genre of blurred lines and bent edges — traditional merengue instruments like the güira meet nu-disco and trap beats, and deft hands draw back the soil to expose the roots of a rich musical tradition. 

The tracklist is star-studded, featuring collaborations from The Marías, Bomba Estéreo and Luis Daniel Frías Felix. And while much of the first half of the record lives on la playa, side B takes on a more adventurous approach, delving into surprising introspection and political messaging that lies in contrast with the perreo anthems from the majority of Martínez’s discography. For all of his efforts to push the boundaries of reggaeton and pay homage to his heritage, Un Verano Sin Ti spent 10 nonconsecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200, only the second all-Spanish album to do so. 

Un Verano Sin Ti is an eclectic patchwork of tracks and sonidos birthed in heritage, resistance and liberation — it is an ode to Latinx culture and a criticism of colonization and gentrification. Ocasio celebrates his roots and places himself as the past, present and future of reggaeton. 

Daily Arts Writer Claire Sudol can be reached at