The sun is shinning and you want to head out to the park. You drag out that awesome t-shirt you bought last summer while on vacation. Once on you notice it feels a little tight and there's a baby bump. The problem is: you're a guy! Put down that IPA.
If you aren't a snow player it's easy to earn some mid-section curvature over the winter. As we plunge into the days of 75 degrees and over don't be the guy who goes to the park, takes his shirt off and immediately scares the children or the teenagers with paint on their faces (they are Juggalos). Don't make grow men shake their heads in embarrassed empathy. Don't make the folks in the drum circle miss a beat and kill their buzz. Don't...well, you get it. I've thrown together a little playlist with some new music to accompany you in whatever your shape-shifting endeavors may be. Take note that some of these songs are NSFW.
"Does and Mimosas" by Cherub is song you will hear all over this Summer so get used to it. Embrace it. Much like Lorde's "Royals" last year this song is all about being an underdog. It's all about hating "that high-class ass that's too hot and fast" and "all the bitch-ass hos." Then coping with drugs and alcohol. Not a good message for the kids, but it's just music and these shoes were made for dancing. Listen to this while doing ladders.
The Faint "Help in the Head" starts off abrasively but this band has an odd talent for getting under your skin. Their new album "DOOM ABUSE" is more abrasive and probably less dancy than their previous catalogue, but this track will have you doing sprints past that woman with two water bottles strapped around her waist pounding the pavement in $300 running shoes. They are in SLC on June 11th.
"Cardiac Arrest" by Bad Sun is a song I hated on first listen, so I listened again then again and now I like it. Funny how that works. Anyway, this track reminds me of bands I have loved that never quite made it like Maximo Park, The Cribs, etc. It's those throaty English bands that try to sing like Cher. I quite like that for some reason. Great song for push-ups.
Big Data "Dangerous (feat. Joywave)." This video even has people working out in it...and blood...and bewbs. Not naked ones, but according to the market research portrayed in this video people like bewbs. It's cheeky and a great song. Go ahead and ponder the social message here while hiking your favorite Wasatch Front canyon trail.
Junior Prom "Sheila Put the Knife Down" immediately makes you think it might be a Smith's cover and that could be the band's intention. It's just good marketing. The version you hear on the radio drops the "f" word and replaces it with "messed." In most songs it doesn't matter, but in this case I think it takes a lot away from the song's impact. Enjoy this gem while doing lunges and hating all the men who have wronged you for maximum calorie burn.
Skaters "Schemers" is MY song of the summer of 2014. I am so obsessed with this band. Their debut album "Manhattan" is my hands down winner this year. I haven't been this excited about an album since I heard Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Fever to Tell" in 2003. Listen to this track while shadowboxing.
Thumpers "Unkider (A Tougher Love)" is pure London pop. It's uplifting and you can sway to it. Works well on a rowing machine if you can find one.
"The City" by The 1975. I swear this is boy band in rock clothing. There is nothing wrong with that, but I feel it's an odd juxtaposition. I see this being a world-class, huge band one day. Good some for jumping jacks.
Sleeper Agent "Waves" is a video that gets my heart rate sky-rocketing mostly because Alex Kandel is so cute, swoon. Her voice is sultry but can still moonlight into Haley Williams territory. This song is so damn good I don't know if I can say anything else about it. There is a rebellious sentimentality in the lyrics. It's the same feeling I had after watching "Never Let Me Go." If you've seen it you'll know what I am taking about. This is a song for lunges if I've ever heard one.
DVBBS & MoTi "This Is Dirty." Being a workout mix you knew some EDM was going to end up here, so why not go Dutch. Good song for sprints. The build-up will have you moving faster and faster until the drop hits. Then you'll be off faster than the Roadrunner after watching Wile E. blow himself sky high with Acme dynamite. You'll get enough bars for a breather before you start burning the tread on your nifty sneaks. Interval training is the best.
Calvin Harris "Summer" might not be an obvious selection considering it's more pop than EDM, but you're going to hear it everywhere: radio, grocery stores, fashionable clothing stores and in your mom's car. Just embrace it and accept it. This one is good for combo toe-touches and pull-ups.
St. Vincent's (Annie Clark) "Digital Witness" is the only song of her's I have really liked. I know, I lose hipster cred over that. This off-putting, horn-driven beat is lovable like a pet hedgehog: cute, but prickly. Squat your way to sexiness to this one.
Hyper Crush's "Rage" is pretty last year, but I just can't kick it off any of my playlists. It's a bit douchey, but it's cheeky. Holly Valentine is so sexy, you'll be doing dead-lifts in hopes you may one day catcher her attention.
> Conor Oberst "Hundreds of Ways" is my list and workout ender. The Bright Eyes boy is dropping a new solo album, "Upside Down Mountain" on May 19th and playing the last show of the Red Butte Summer Concert series this year. He is one, if not the, loudest live musician I have ever seen.
Feel free to add to this list in the comments below and thanks for reading.
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Good luck getting sexy for the Summer.
-Corey O'Brien (Twitter @coreyx96)
*Photo Credit "SLIM FIT" by Md saad andalib is licensed under CC BY 2.0