I've been listening to The War On Drugs' Slave Ambient quite a bit recently, and aside from any apt Springsteen comparisons that would come to mind, the album has primarily reminded me of 2007. More specifically, it reminds me of what I listened to in 2007, itself more of an imprinted memory of time and place than an actual aural connection. As with most of the music I've listened to in my twenties as a card-carrying Los Angeles import, these memories mostly revolve around driving* somewhere (the aforementioned card is, of course, a driver license). As such, what Slave Ambient conjures in me is a flickering screen of vague, hazy memories. Memories of the way the air feels after the day's waning charred heat is replaced with a relieving twilight. Memories of damp hair on sweaty skin, of air rushing in open car windows, of a nighttime illuminated by vacated offices in skyscrapers. Of the ocean and of the city and of the desert, California's greatest assets arrayed neatly and backlit by the setting sun.
Anyway, I also remember specific songs from that Summer of 2007, and I began to wonder if the songs I've listened to at the burnt end of summer bear any resemblance to one another as the years have collected? It turns out, they do. August, like all the other Augusts before it, tends to be populated with music that is lushly and unapologetically pretty. It tends to swoon against a certain amount of nostalgia, conspicuously lacking the scurf of July's typically scuzzed-up adrenaline rush.
So here's a mix for the last days of August and for the first few of September. You can grab it here for a limited time.
*Here's an aside: Whenever I travel to a city whose primary method of moving bodies from A to B is through public transportation, I feel a deep and cavernous longing for my car. I realized it's one of the reasons I may never live (at least not full time) in a place like New York City, because I wouldn't be bidding adieu merely to my friends and loved ones in California, I'd also be parting ways with my car. And if, once all is said done in my life, my relationships were to be qualified based on loyalty, dependability, steadfastness, and time spent together, it might come to pass that my car is, in fact, the best friend I've ever had. So, there's that.