On cool-down music

It is impossible to have a conversation without someone bringing up the heat. Relentless sunlight boils our flesh and swampy humidity makes even typing a sweaty affair. My pink is peeling off and my brain is in a liquid state — and, reader, I am sure you feel the same. With that in mind, here is a playlist of songs for suckling popsicles.

Bauhaus, “Mask.” In “Mask,” Bauhaus sends you directly inside the thick stone walls of a subterranean dungeon. Peter Murphy moans in pain, with cymbals crashing like whips. It’s all dark and gloomy and goth until the 2:40 mark, when a beautiful, light guitar melody replaces whips and moans. “The shadow is cast,” Murphy cries. Hurrah! I need some shade.

Junior Boys, “Double Shadow.” The Canadian duo’s beats are always icy — especially this one, which has whispering vocals that are not warmly romantic. Instead, “Double Shadow” begins with some unromantic insults, and then launches into an understated beat with a compliment: “you good fuck.” At least whoever this song is tearing to shreds has that, right? That, and a surprisingly soulful track complete with handclaps in their memory.

Pluxus, “Solid State.” This Scandinavian electro track begins with a slow, jingling beat, reminiscent of ice cubes clinking in glasses. Quickly, other synthetic sounds roll in, sounding like the best parts of summer — clicking cameras, an oscillating fan, the hum of insects at nightfall, a carnival melody, the plinking of coins into a fountain. Still, the mood is not nostalgic. This slow, dark, and fizzy song seems tired of the summer heat.

M83, “Teen Angst.” What goes together better than teen angst and the dying days of summer? Ethereal male vocals, a throbbing beat, and hazy guitar washes make this an ideal song to listen to during a dusk walk amid the mosquitoes.

TV On The Radio, “Wear You Out.” “Wear You Out” begins as a vocal-driven track, with Adebimpe’s voice fluttering effortlessly above simple drumming. Soon, gentle chimes, horns, and bass arrive and his voice swoops back down to sensually meld with the chugging, bluesy orchestra. After a blast of heat, TVOTR cools it off with an icy flute jam.

The Flaming Lips, “Bad Days.” Just when students start dreading the start of class and the onslaught of work, Wayne Coyne reminds us, “You have to sleep late when you can, and all your bad days will end.” Take heed from this surprisingly low-key Flaming Lips track. Sleep will be torn from our sweaty grasp all too soon, and when the cool fall comes we will be wishing for summertime once again.