10 Gorgeously Melancholy Albums to Soundtrack Your Summer

A couple of weeks back, we had a look at a selection of indie rock summer anthems, and earlier in the month our Pop for Skeptics maven Rohin Guha nominated a selection of more poptastic summer jams. But the thing is, summer doesn’t conjure up images of pool parties and general sun-drenched revelry for everyone — for some (and you can count us among their number, especially in the insufferable humidity of NYC), it’s a pretty melancholy time of the year. And yet, luxuriating in that melancholy can be somehow just as satisfying in its own way as splashing around at the beach — so here’s a selection of 10 albums to soundtrack doing just that. Suggestions are welcome, of course.

Grandaddy — Under the Western Freeway

“Summer Here Kids,” track four from Grandaddy’s 1997 debut album, is pretty much a manifesto for this post, a portrait of a nightmarish summer holiday gone wrong: “Summer here, kids,” sings Jason Lytle desperately. “Summer here, totally lies/ Tourist info said I’d have a good time/ I’m not having a good time.” Elsewhere, the above “Collective Dreamwish of Upperclass Elegance” — our all-time favorite Grandaddy song — is a perfect evocation of sitting alone on the porch on a long summer night, playing guitar and drinking in the solitude, and the album ends with a five-minute field recording of the sound of crickets. You can’t get more quintessentially summery than that.