“Songs to Beat the Heat”: A KJHK Collaborative Playlist

While the Summer may be coming to a close, it’s still nowhere near that temperate fall weather that someone like myself enjoys more than anything. So we here at KJHK decided to ask around the station and find out what everyone’s go-to song was when the heat was just a little too much to bear.

Presented here are their responses, ranging all genres and spanning decades, with one purpose: keeping it cool and keeping it real.

Name: Kyle Wernimont

Year at KU and Major: Junior, Secondary Education

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Content Director

Song that helps you beat the heat and why:

“Summer Madness” by Kool and the Gang: Normally known for their disco hits from the 70’s and tight funky instrumentation, Kool and the Gang crafted this fever dream of synth and bass for their 1974 Album “Light of Worlds” along with other classics like “Street Corner Symphony”. The track definitely stands out from others on the album though, having an eerie dreamlike quality that I just can’t seem to shake. You can almost feel the heat radiating from the song itself. While many songs about summer seem to focus on the positive aspects of the warmer weather, “Summer Madness” finds something lethargic and almost insane about the heat. It makes you picture a summer day where nothing is happening, and we can all relate to that. This instrumental cut is somehow able to describe how I feel during summer days where I want nothing more than a nice air conditioner and for it to not be 98 degrees outside. Since “Summer Madness” seems to empathize with the fact that heat can make us all feel a little bit crazy, it is more than qualified to be the song that helps me beat the heat.

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Name: Jaya Chakka

Year at KU and Major: Sophomore; Behavioral Neuroscience / Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Music Staffer, Rotation DJ

Song that helps you beat the heat and why:

“Heart It Races” by Dr. Dog: Though originally performed by Architecture in Helsinki, the Dr. Dog version of this song is much more mellow and breezy, making it a perfect song for summer. “Heart It Races – Dr Dog Version” appears on Architecture in Helsinki’s “Heart It Races” EP, along with four other reimaginations of the tune. The subtle use of panning between multiple speaker channels and masterfully layered harmonies lend the song a palpable sense of dimension. Though “Heart It Races” could surely be described as a sunny tune, the upbeat, chill nature of the tune will have you jamming out so hard that you’ll forget about the summer heat. This is a track perfect for long summer drives with the windows down.

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Name: Michaela Behymer

Year at KU and Major: Junior; English

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Incoming Community Engagement Director

Song that helps you beat the heat and why:

Doin’ Time” by Sublime: What can I say about this song that doesn’t scream “summer”? The song starts with the first line from the legendary “Summertime” and goes on to tell a story of building oppressed rage fueled by the summer heat. Heck, one of Sublime’s most well-known symbols is a massive sun. While it may not exactly be a way to beat the heat, it is a song that does well to remind you of the heat and what the baking sun can do to the mind. And if you can’t beat the heat, might as well revel in it.

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Name: Brian Locascio

Year at KU and Major: Senior, Music Therapy

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Live Music Assistant Coordinator

Song that helps you beat the heat and why:

“Look Back” by Betty Who: “Look Back” was written by Betty Who, a 26-year-old Australian pop artist and was just released this summer in 2018. The song “Look Back” is part of her new EP, “Betty, Pt. 1.” The music featured would help anyone beat the heat with its reggae style accents on the strums of the guitar and drum accompaniment. The song features two individuals flirting out in public at what sounds like a summer night at the bar. It is clear that the main character knows that even though they are pretending to be friends, the other character wants more. The songs chorus and verses feature whistles that’ll bring any past middle school basketball player reminiscing of playing in the summer sun. Overall, although things are getting heated between the two individuals, this song will be the coolest thing on your summer playlist.

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Name: Ellie Closen

Year at KU and Major: Junior, Strategic Communications and Visual Art (Minor: Art History)

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Live Music Committee

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences): “Short Court Style” By Natalie Prass: This song makes me want to DANCE and GROOVE and SING no matter the weather! This was Natalie Prass’ first single released off her new album, “The Future and The Past,” that came out on the first of June. Honestly, this entire album has been one of my favorites to listen to this summer. It is so much fun. If you decide to try it, I also recommend checking out “Oh My,” “The Fire,” “Sisters,” “Never Too Late,” “Hot for the Mountain,” and “Ain’t Nobody.” With this album on, you will surely be able to beat the heat!

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Name: Deegan Poores

Year at KU and Major: Sophomore, Political Science (Minor: Jazz Guitar)

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK:  For the Record

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences):

“Ma, I Don’t Love Her” – Clipse ft. Faith Evans: Ever since I got Lord Willin’ on vinyl earlier this year, this song has been a major part of my summer playlist. The early Neptunes production, with the unusual chord progression, screams sunshine and is perfect to play in your car with the windows down. The kick pattern, coupled with the shakers, are also suited for grooving and shaking your hips. Overall of this, Pusha T and Malice rhyme about an ambiguous situation: are they cheating or are they dealing drugs? It is never revealed, but the hilarious music video clears it up quite a bit. The whole song has a sense of humor that is not as evident in Pusha’s latest music. If you’ve been digging Push’s DAYTONA album this surgical summer as much as I have, this is a huge recommendation.

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Name: Lorena de la O

Year at KU and Major: Senior; Marketing / Film & Media Studies

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Latin Lab, Station Manager

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences):

Florence and the Machine released its fourth studio album this summer titled High as HopeThe whole album is superb, but I have found myself obsessing over the lead track titled “Hunger” ever since I first heard it.

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Name: Sophie Johnson

Year at KU and Major: Sophomore, Journalism

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Communications director, The French Connection

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences): The song “Heat Wave” by Snail Mail is my song to beat the heat with, or add to the heat in this case. I feel that this song is representative of my summer because of the artist’s casual voice with an indie punk feel to it, which alludes to a lot of the music I have been listening to while trying to ignore all of the sweat my body is producing this summer. I think the casual feel this song gives off makes it a solid choice for listening to while hanging with friends or just keeping cool by yourself. Snail Mail is a unique artist because she is so young,19, but with a great message and a voice ready to be heard. I think she is worth checking out and I am definitely excited to hear more of her work in the future, plus anything female fronted has an added bonus in my book.

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Name: Cami Koons

Year at KU and Major: Sophomore: Journalism & Film and Media Studies

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Arts and Culture Director

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences):

“It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube: The narrative of this song explains a day in a neighborhood far different from anything I have ever experienced, and discusses issues that I have never had to deal with. Regardless of the circumstances, everyone knows what it feels like to have a day where everything just goes right. Growing up at Lake of the Ozarks, summer days are always good, because even the sweltering heat can’t beat a day on the water.

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Name: Matthew Stratton

Year at KU and Major: Sophomore, German and Psychology

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Music Staff, Rotation DJ

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences):

“I Might Be Wrong” by Radiohead: It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I am obsessed with Radiohead and of course there has to be at least one song off of their nine phenomenal studio records that exemplify summer and that takes shape in “I Might Be Wrong”, the fifth song off of their fifth album “Amnesiac”. The opening of the song immediately makes me think of a mirage of heat. As the guitar and drums come into the song I am placed in the middle of the desert. With the immense heat of summer 2018, this song feels too familiar. This desert rock tune is a fantastic highlight on “Amnesiac”.

“Taro” by Alt-J: By far one of the trio’s most infectious and breathtaking songs to date, “Taro” comes from the bands “An Awesome Wave”. Even with all the glory this song has to offer I sadly overlooked it during my first listen of the group’s debut. It took a good friend to turn me back on to this song and its exotic drum beats and adventurous sound. I now try to exclusively listen to this in the car with the windows down. This song reminds me of the friends I’ve made over the years and the great times I’ve spent with them.


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Name: Miranda Roberts

Year at KU and Major: Junior, Marketing and Journalism

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Music Director, Host of Hickory Wind

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences):

“Hiding In The Melody” by Night Moves: Still looking for that seductive summer sound? Look no further. This song’s enormous sound is perfect for sticky days that feel more like a dimension than a climate. You can submerge yourself in the sound and soak in the heavy reverb. This particular track off of the 2016 record “Pennied Days”, clocks in just above 7 minutes which perfectly mirrors the feel of a long summer day. This song and all of “Pennied Days” are a summertime windows-down must, which can only mean big things down the road for this Minneapolis band.


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Name: Karsan Turner

Year at KU and Major: Sophomore, News/ information journalism and political science

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Arts & Culture staff

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences):

“Summer Means New Love” – The Beach Boys: The problem with 90% of Beach Boys songs is their incompatibility with midwesterners. “Surfin’ USA,” “Surfin’,” “Surf’s Up,” “Surfer Girl,” “Surfin’ Safari,” mean nothing to Kansans. “Summer Means New Love” on the other hand, doesn’t geographically restrict the listener with lyrics because there are none. The minimal shopping mall-like track is the sound of summer relaxation. Whether you’re driving home from working a double, Googling the answers to your online summer course homework, or writing in a word document about songs that beat the heat, “Summer Means New Love” is a great track  providing a piece of summer paradise even if you’re not at the beach… boy.

Youtube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMBdibbXH58


Name:  Brad Wine

Year at KU and Major:  Graduated in 2012 with a BS in Organismal Biology, currently a 4th year medical student at the University of Kansas Medical Center going into Family Medicine

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK:  Sunday morning DJ,  9-12

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences):

“Do you know how to feel it” by The Diogenes Club: This song doesn’t have much history. It was written by a duo out of England that had previously not had much musical experience. One member fiddled around with song lyrics and singing with friends, and another messed around with synthesizers and making new sounds on the computer. They met through a mutual friend and eventually decided to collaborate. This song was born out of their first collaboration. It is a dreamy, effervescent, extremely chill song, where the background rides smoothly along and the vocals float dreamily on top. When this song came out 10 years ago, I didn’t listen to anything else at the time. It has been with me through thick and thin, and is my go-to song for when I’m feeling a need to escape or take a long road trip. I have fond memories of blasting this in my first jeep while I rode through the mountains of colorado with the top down, beating the blazing heat of summer on the plains with a cooling ride through the mountains with my masterpiece of a song keeping me company.

“Breezin” – George Benson: This song is simply summer. It gives one the sensation of sitting in the grass on a mild summer day, the wind blowing through one’s hair, the sweet smell of wildflowers drifting along. It is simple in its instrumentals and reminiscent of an easier time. It just feels right, it just feels good. Everything that a mild summer day is supposed to be.

“Feels Like Summer” – Childish Gambino: This song is a smooth summer ride.  It has a very chill melody and has a catchy hook.  After one gets rocking to the funky song, the lyrics tend to catch one off guard because the artist is referring to global warming.  Similar to other recent works of his, there is a political bent to a catchy song. Its reminiscent of some old Marvin Gaye music.

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Name: Patrick Kennedy

Year at KU and Major: Senior majoring in geographic information and analysis

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Music Director, host of “It’s Not a Phase” Sundays 4-7

Song that helps you beat the heat and why:

“Dogwalk” by Pity Sex: Pity Sex used to be one of my favorite bands on Run for Cover Records before the group disbanded in 2016. Their last album, “White Hot Moon”, is one of my summer favorites, but I picked this song off of their 2012 EP just because it has a lot of sentimental value to me (and it rips!!!!). The band gets described as “shoegaze-y emo”, which I’ve always thought was a weird genre combination, but they pull it off in a really great way. The vocals and guitar work on this EP are a little muddier and lo-fi than their later releases, but it kind of adds to the lackadaisical and laid back atmosphere of the songs, making them great for summer evening walks, drives, etc. Britty Drake’s songwriting is probably a big reason that the band gets the ‘emo’ label, and this song has one of my favorite lines in “I wanna die with you once or twice”. Her and Brennan Greaves’ vocals play off of each other really well and give Pity Sex a really distinct sound that I love returning to every time summer rolls around.

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Name: Peter Kintu

Year at KU and Major: Junior, News/ information journalism and political science

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: No Clue yet

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences):

“Revolution 909” – Daft Punk: Daft Punk’s discography really speaks for itself. Their debut album, “Homework” took the world by storm and helped electronic dance music receive more respect in the realm of critical discussion. These innovators of electronic and dance music provide undeniable dance grooves that are perfect for pool settings and long summer drives with the windows down. Their debut album has tunes that make house fans from all eras salivate due to the presence use of infectious samples and bass-lines that pack in some funk.

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Name: Olivia Jones

Year at KU and Major: Sophomore; Journalism (Strategic Communication) & History

DJ Shift or Position at KJHK: Live Music Committee; Saturday nights 9pm-midnight (Rotation)

Song that helps you beat the heat and why (try for at least a few sentences):

“Shades” – The Knocks: This song is a bop! There’s no other way to put it. The Knocks don’t shy away from groovy, fun summertime songs. In fact, this DJ duo’s speciality is melodic and carefree dance music ranging from rap to disco, as proven time and time again since their first EP “Magic” was released in 2011. Their newest single “Shades” only further emphasizes The Knocks’ ability to make funk/disco modern and cool. Released in June 2018, this song has been on replay ever since. “Shades” doesn’t guarantee that you’ll beat the heat as you’ll probably be dancing too much.

“Hunnybee” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Is it possible for a song to be aesthetically pleasing? Well, this song somehow checks that box and more. “Hunnybee” makes me want to dance and take a long car ride with the windows down at the same time. If Michael Jackson were to release psychedelic alternative music, it would be this song. “Hunnybee” is a beautiful gift of a summer-y, hypnotizing, and groovy jam wrapped with a, “Let’s listen to this a few more times” bow.

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Look for more KJHK collaborative playlists throughout the Fall semester and remember to stay cool out there!

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