The summer might be over (at least for those in the Northern Hemisphere), but I couldn't resist writing about this brilliant gem of a song that perfectly captures the general upbeat vibe we like to associate with the season. Spring had delivered, and nature is abundant with possibility again. Human and animal spirits are high, while the atmosphere is laid-back, relaxed and brimming with promise.
‘In the Shade’ is a transnational collaboration between Lisbon/Munich based Moullinex (aka Luis Clara Gomes) and Best Youth (i.e. the Portuguese duo of Ed Rocha Gonçalves and Catarina Salinas). It begins with repetitive pulsing synths that slowly merge with Catarina’s smooth vocals, beckoning the listener to take in the atmosphere: ‘You can find me again/in the shade/you can see me the same/in the shade’.
Guitars, percussions and shakers stealthily join in during the chorus, creating an understated crescendo to accompany the chorus:
‘Head in from the sun
I can be alone with you
Head in from the sun
The lyrics may be repetitive on the page, but certainly don’t feel so in the song. The ‘shade’ offers some respite from the flurry of activity taking place in the sun, and the possibility of privacy for some heady moments of summer-intensified romance and intimacy. The elements are all in place for a laid-back summer anthem which, like its lyrics, pulsates with energy while holding slightly back on its promises. We have the catchiness of the pop genre without its tendency to be so overtly ‘in-your-face’ with the beat, message and lyrical content.
The accompanying video captures the message perfectly, with vocalist Catarina Salinas cruising leisurely around a picturesque park on the day with just the right amount of sunlight. Four cheerleaders (all clad in bright yellow) join her for a smooth dance routine during the chorus, and then everything repeats itself with a slightly different variation: a perfect representation of summer’s possibilities, which beckon from right around the corner – slightly out of sight, just within reach.
*Look out for the stunning cheerleader on the far left, who looks like a cross between Mena Suvari and Devon Aoki (to me, at least).