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MEAWW's Basement Tapes: Five new summer jams to transport you to a tropical paradise

These tracks will get you in the mood to enjoy the sunshine and escape from the quarantined world for a little while
UPDATED MAY 17, 2020
Tafari Anthony and Iration (Press Kits)
Tafari Anthony and Iration (Press Kits)

Summer is just around the corner, and while we were all geared up to enjoy the sun and sand, we are, unfortunately, stuck at home riding out the quarantine waves instead. But even if we can't bask in the glorious summer heat, we can certainly enjoy the season with some gorgeous summer bops. And we're kicking things off with a sonic trip to a tropical paradise.

Loud Forest: 'Costa Rica'

Is a summer playlist complete without a song about summer romance? 'Costa Rica' is a song about Bernard and Rachel Chadwick, the husband-and-wife duo that comprise Loud Forest. Accompanied by bright melodies and tropical soundscapes reminiscent of a Costa Rican jungle, this song traces the couple's journey back to where they first met. The duo's musical beginnings trace back to Bernard's MFA at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, following which the duo began to fuse together their love for rock music, insightful lyrics, pop sensibilities and art to create their own sound.

Loud Forest's 'Costa Rica' (Courtesy of Loud Forest)

With 'Costa Rica' they further expand their sound to include summery tropical and house styles so they can tell their own magical story. Bernard shares, "I was in the jungle digging some stairs down to a waterfall, then up walks this cute 17-year-old girl in ripped up jeans out of nowhere. She was there to visit for a couple of days, she sang and played guitar (blackbird by The Beatles). It obviously made an impression on me." Listen to 'Costa Rica' HERE. Follow Loud Forest on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more.

Nick Black: 'IRL'

Featuring sun-soaked guitars and soulful vocals, this one's perfect for those summertime playlists. And while being a love song, this one is also a poignant and timely release that declares, "I want to see you in real life!" Nick Black cites everyone from Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars to Al Green and Sting as his musical influences, and to that end, he manages to create music that is modern and unique yet somehow also familiar and nostalgic. Add to that Black's propensity to draw from everything, including human nature and the Universe when crafting his lyrics, and you get music that is relatable and honest.

Nick Black 'IRL' (Courtesy of Nick Black)

And 'IRL' is Black at his best: this is a delightful pop song that was originally written as a love song when his wife wanted him to put down his phone and live in the moment. As a result, we get the perfect summer song to put our phones down and groove to. Listen to 'IRL' HERE. Follow Nick Black on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more.

Tafari Anthony: 'Live in a Dream'

LGBTQA+ artiste Tafari (pronounced Ta-far-eye) Anthony has been steadily making a name for himself in recent years as an artiste to watch out for. His latest release, 'Live in a Dream', is a soulful R&B and pop track that blends the singer's powerhouse vocals with resolute lyrics that define the experience of trying to find contentment in your current situation, especially when the world might try to tell you that you don't know what you truly want.

With deeply emotional songs that resonate across generations, Anthony is well on his way to living up to his name which means 'He who inspires awe'. Speaking about his latest track, the artiste shares, "We are constantly trying to strive for more, and I know personally I feel a great deal of failure or shame if I don’t live upto expectations. Far too often in my career, I've had many people try to tell me who I should be and try to mold me into something that they've already seen. The promise of a greater future if you do this and that, had me do many things I would've never done in order to chase someone else’s vision. But I had to slow down and stop worrying about what I don’t have, and who I don’t know and be happy to live my own personal journey."


The infectious track serves as an inspiring reminder to reconnect with our inner child and dream big, bravely facing down the obstacles that stand in our way to achieving them. Listen to 'Live in a Dream' HERE. Follow Tafari Anthony on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for more.

i_o & Lights: 'Annihilation'

Electronic artiste i_o has given us a stream of gorgeous content as part of his '444' album series. Named for an obscure New York City underground venue, i_o’s '444' is a three-part series of four tracks each as a nod to the number. Each segment of the project has told a story of the different areas of dance music that define i_o as an artist. Part one, 'ACID 444' reflected i_o's warehouse roots, while follow-up 'NRG 444' was a more aggressive, uptempo collection of tracks suited to be played during a peak hour main room techno set. 'AM 444', the last part of the series, sees alt-pop artiste Lights joining i_o on all the tracks and represents i_o's production skills on the more melodic and progressive side.

While originally based on 4 am, the period of time when night turns into day, 'AM 444' soon shifted into something else entirely after i_o and Lights began to fashion a world of their own called 'EDEN' that represented the two artistes' different standpoints, ultimately culminating in a soundscape that resembled a digital paradise and acted as a metaphor for escapism.

i_o and Lights (Chris Koeppen Photography / Lindsey Blane)

And in a world that's staring at a doom's day clock and hoping that against all odds we'll find our way out, this energetic track provides the perfect catharsis. Listen to 'Annihilation' HERE. Follow i_o on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Soundcloud for more. To learn more about i_o's journey, check out the mau5trap mini-documentary, 'The Story of i_o', HERE. Follow Lights on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and check out their other projects at

Iration: 'Right Here Right Now' (feat Eric Rachmany and Stick Figure)

It isn't summer without a little reggae music to chill to. Alternative rock band Iration's latest single 'Right Here Right Now' off their upcoming album 'Coastin' is the reggae jam we all need to complete our summer playlists. The song is an ode to living in the moment. "Our new album 'Coastin' is a record about being thankful for the moments that we have and this song really focuses on that. It's such a timely message, so let's all celebrate self-reflection and live in the present," the band states.

The band has always drawn influences from multiple genres with their work, but they shine like never before on their latest release, taking listeners on a timeless musical journey and showcasing their distinct hybrid style of music that blends rock and reggae with elements of pop and newly incorporated R&B, funk, and jazz sounds. Their sound, set against meaningful and personal lyrics that push positivity, good vibes, and good feelings out into the world, is exactly what we all need right now.


"When we think about the vibe of this record, one of the images that kept coming up was driving down PCH in a Cadillac convertible, top-down, on a crispy, sunny day, and you just put the album on and drive," describes Micah Pueschel, the group's lead singer. "That's the kind of feel that we want to bring - that feeling like there are no worries, you're not stressing about anything, you're just putting on the music and going down the coast, enjoying the ride." Listen to 'Right Here, Right Now' HERE.

'MEAWW's Basement Tapes' is a column that shines a spotlight on undiscovered/underrated musical gems