Expanding your music: what we’re listening to this summer


Throughout generations, music has united the world through the comfort, inspiration and the community it provides. At Naperville North High School, music has easily become an essential part of the daily lives of its students and staff — permeating hallways, classrooms and earbuds. Everyone has their own unique taste. However, it’s important to diversify the consumption of music and introduce new genres and styles to daily listening habits. In our last edition of Expanding Your Music this school year, we’re discussing our favorite albums for the summer time.

School is coming to an end — thank goodness. After all the hard work put into this school year, we couldn’t have done it without our studying playlist. Now, with summer coming, it’s time to roll the windows down, open the sunroof and go on long relaxing drives. In order to live your ‘coming-of-age’ dreams, it’s time to create a summer playlist to go along with these goals. 

“How Will You Know If You Never Try” by COIN (Maxie)

While I may not be driving at high speeds, if you see me driving with my windows down, sunroof open and blasting music, you’ll most likely hear me play a song from this album. “How Will You Know If You Never Try” is my go-to summer album when driving alone or with friends and family. This specific album encapsulates the picture of having that care-free summer that everyone craves for.

COIN is a pop band that gained popularity after releasing their album “How Will You Know If You Never Try” especially with hit songs like “Talk Too Much” and “Malibu 1992.” After seeing countless TikToks of people using their songs, there is no doubt on why everyone loves to give their songs a listen in the summertime. 

Their hit songs are a ‘hit’ for a reason; they are my favorite songs on this album. With songs that highlight the hot vibrant days or the cool calming nights of my summer, I have to admit they’re well-suited in being my top plays for the summer. “Talk Too Much” is the epitome of driving a little too fast with your friends in the backseat as they scream at the top of their lungs. With a heavy drum beat and groovy guitar instrumental, undoubtedly this song encapsulates those lively summer days. On the other hand, “Malibu 1992” is a ballad-like song that I picture listening to around a bonfire. The contrast of the songs is well-suited for cool nights in the summertime after being in the sun all day. The light drum beats, simple strums of a guitar and heavy synths is a great listen any time of the day.

If you enjoyed this album, I recommend giving a listen to Declan McKenna, Surfaces and Dayglow for the same vibe.

“Del Water Gap” by Del Water Gap (Bella)

This album takes me to another place. It is universal in the sense that I can blast this album with the doors off in my mom’s Jeep Wrangler, or listen to the same tracks alone in my bedroom. Del Water Gap, also known as S. Holden Jaffe, embodies this theme with upbeat songs, yet a deep meaning in his lyrics that are an emotional rollercoaster of a tracklist. 

“Del Water Gap” was originally a duo between Jaffe and Maggie Rogers, who is now a solo artist. The two met when recording and studying music at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU. The band’s name was inspired by the Delaware Water Gap, located in Pennsylvania. The band broke up after six months, when Jaffe took on “Del Water Gap” as a solo project. 

The self-titled album was released in 2021 and remains his most known project to date. The first single off this album, “Ode to a Conversation Stuck in Your Throat”, was released in 2020 and gained attention from many celebrities via Instagram stories. This song is about the barriers in a situationship between friends and it’s definitely one of my favorites off this album, alongside “Sorry I Am” and “Bug Bites.”

If you enjoy the sound of Del Water Gap, I recommend checking out Hippo Campus, Maggie Rogers and Conan Gray.

“Songs of Her’s” by Her’s (Sarah)

When I think of summer, I think of long, warm nights and driving with my friends while the sun sets. An album that replicates that feeling perfectly is “Songs of Her’s” from the band Her’s. This album consists of nine songs which perfectly replicate the warm, happy feelings of summer. 

Her’s was an indie rock band from Liverpool, which consisted of Audun Laading and Stephen Fitzpatrick. Laading was the lead singer and guitarist while Fitzpatrick played the bass and sang background vocals. The two-man band was on the path to success when tragically on their tour, they got into a head-on car collision and did not survive. Their souls live on in the magical music they made while still with us.  

The songs “Dorothy” and “What Once Was” remind me the most of summertime. “What Once Was” is one of the band’s most popular songs for all the right reasons; it’s fun, upbeat, and embodies the sunset as a song. “Dorothy”, on the other hand, isn’t very popular, but I personally think it’s better than “What Once Was.” Dorothy offers the same uplifting feeling, but with catchier lyrics and more energy. Dorothy is the song I always put on when I get off of work and the weather is warm. 

If you enjoyed this project by Her’s, I’d recommend their second album, “Invitation to Her’s”, as well as other artists like Clairo, Beach House and Surf Curse. 

Here is a link to playlists for our top 3 songs for the summer from these albums and one for our favorite summer songs. Have a great summer, Huskies! We’ll see you next school year.