Party scorchers, earbud melters, backyard breezers, road-trip lifelines—call them what you will. Summertime begets summerjams and The FADER is here to celebrate the season’s finest in their infinite, miraculous variations. Which is exactly what drew us to Estelle, whose multivalent tunes dissolve the borders between rap, reggae, R&B, NYC, LDN, Motown and your town. On the eve of her album’s release, we ventured into the eye of her publicity hurricane and came back with a candid portrait of the new pop star down the block. Once you’re done playing with our Estelle cover gatefold, flip the mag over and meet Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson. Yes, the dude’s name is epic but we urge you to recite it like scripture, make flash cards, name your pet hermit crab after him. Just do whatever it takes to commit it to memory, because come fall semester, everyone cutting class on the quad will be waxing about how they spent their vacation under the spell of a Brooklyn troubadour with a ten-syllable name and a soul-rattling songbook.
Also crammed between the covers of our summer-jamwich, you’ll find Crookers, an Italian twosome on the cusp of throwing the international dancefloor into convulsions. Julianne Shepherd followed the Milanese house heroes to a gig in the itty-bitty village of Ivrea where the duo dropped futuristic loony tunes and the crowd dropped trou. Meanwhile, contributor Jace Clayton bounced to Buenos Aires to map-out the new epicenter of cumbia, a timeworn Colombian folk music that’s metastasized into a global phenomenon. Back in New York, we were busy scanning/panning the airwaves for gold and found a few twenty-four karat bangers in our own backyard: the neoclassical hip-hop of Grind Music and the confectionary futurisms of Ryan Leslie. And for those who prefer their music-makers sweaty, yelpy and dusted with flour, Matthew Schnipper flew west to break bread (and ice cream) with young LA punk magicians Abe Vigoda. All in all, it’s a wide-armed embrace of the sounds that capture the energy of summer zero-eight—a season poised to deliver crazy heat, fiery election chatter and a grip of sweltering anthems that we’ll be pumping past Labor Day and into infinity.