Summer Favorites of 2018

Hello there and welcome to September! I apologize for my absence the past couple months, but I was seduced by my favorite of all the seasons, Summer. As I grow older I'm finally starting to grasp a state of being that has eluded me most of my life. I am learning to live in the moment. The past couple months have been a remarkably relaxed time for me as I forgot the past, focused on the future as a little as a somewhat responsible person can, and just enjoyed whatever I happened to be doing at any given time. A great many of those moments were spent boogie-boarding at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, exploring the many rail trails North of Boston, gardening, and enjoying evenings on my back deck among my rail boxes of Impatiens.

Kristen Eck's back deck

But everything eventually comes to an end and as I write this on Labor Day Weekend, I must concede that the Summer of 2018 (as wonderful as it has been) is winding down. Playoff baseball awaits in a few weeks, football begins next weekend, the stores are packed to the rafters with pumpkin-spice everything, and I'm ready to create my first batch of chili of the season using fresh vegetables from my front-yard garden. Moving forward into Autumn I intend to continue enjoying the present, but at the same time I will be sharing much of it with you!

As we foray into the Fall, you can expect my usual insatiable appetite for new music to continue. The ever-older me is increasingly enchanted by new sounds and melodies and while I realize that's the complete opposite of most people my age, I embrace it. I will share my favorite new tunes with you and hope that one or two of them finds their way to your heart. Have no fear, though... My Mixed-Up Memories feature will also continue with great Alternative Rock songs you love and cherish! I'm also planning special themed playlists around days like Halloween (get your requests-in now) and have a year-end countdown in the works, as well!

Speaking of music, let's get-on with it, shall we? What I have for you on this Labor Day Weekend is a one-hour playlist of some of my favorite songs from the Summer of 2018.

It begins with the first true single from Florence + The Machine's June album, "High As Hope." While I'm still endeavoring to wrap-my-head-around the newest LP from one of my favorite artists, I do love this track entitled "Hunger."

Plenty of huge tracks follow including "The Cut Girl" from Invisible Minds. This mysterious artist finally revealed himself this Summer as London house/techno DJ, Tim Green. Featuring vocalist Howard Hobbs on lead-vocals, this song is front & center on Invisible Minds' debut release, "Make Up Your Own Stories," out on October 5th, 2018! This will be a must-have on vinyl for me.

Underworld & Iggy Pop's afternoon tea-time collaboration entitled "Bells & Circles" is one of my favorite tunes of the Summer. Who else would you expect to wax-poetic about "the golden days of air-travel," when you could smoke on the airplane?! Only Iggy can make it sound sexy!

January of this year found me searching the internet for new music and that eventually landed me on Australia's Triple-J Radio. There I found a ton of artists I had never heard of before but soon found new favorites like Tash Sultana, Taj Ralph, Sarah Blasko, and Alice Ivy! Alice Ivy's "I'm Dreaming" is among my favorite albums of the year. I've added the delightful "Chasing Stars" with Bertie Blackman on guest vocals to the playlist.

More great tunes abound from Soulwax, Gaz Coombes, Villagers, Jazzanova, and Roxanne Tataei. The Orielles stop by with an epic psych-rocker entitled "Sugar Tastes Like Salt" and Snoop Dogg makes his first appearance with Gorillaz since he helped them open their 2010 masterpiece "Plastic Beach." "Hollywood" is one of the standout tracks on their sixth studio album, "The Now Now," which dropped at the end of June.

Welsh jazz/trip-hop outfit, Slowly Rolling Camera closes out the Summer Favorites playlist with a beautiful and cinematic track entitled "Eight Days." You can feel the season slowly fading to black as you drift along with the music. Check this one out with a nice set of headphones if you get a chance. You won't be disappointed! Slowly Rolling Camera's third album, "Juniper" is available now.

So there you have it: What I did with my Summer vacation! I hope you enjoyed your Summer as well, as we wrap-up and meander into Autumn. Comments and suggestions are always welcome at Don't forget to send me some suggestions for the Halloween playlist which I'll begin on October 1st!

Until then, stay-tuned for more new music and Mixed-Up Memories along with other surprises throughout the month of September! Happy listening.



#FlorenceTheMachine #InvisibleMinds #TimGreen #Underworld #IggyPop #AliceIvy #BertieBlackman #TheOrielles #Soulwax #GazCoombes #Gorillaz #SnoopDogg #Villagers #Jazzanova #RoxanneTataei #SlowlyRollingCamera

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