Opinions & Features Workshop (Oct 26th)

Illustration by Yasmine Elsayed

Gauntlet Mixtape Vol. 1: Hot Gauntlet Summer

By Cristina Paolozzi, Rachneet Randhawa, Ava Zardynezhad, Olufunke Ogunmefun, Aymen Sherwani and Kristy Koehler, July 2 2021—

There’s certainly a heatwave happening out there and to go along with the scorcher, we’ve produced a mixtape. Our staff and volunteers contributed to Vol 1: Hot Gauntlet Summer. Here’s the songs they chose and why. 

This is Volume 1 of many — stay tuned to our Spotify and watch for more mixtapes, staff and volunteer playlists, and musical themes to match the climate (political or otherwise!).

Cristina’s Picks: Editor-in-Chief

“Ashiato (Footprints)” by the peggies

I’ve already written a whole article about anime, so there’s no way I wouldn’t include an iconic opening or ending on this playlist. This is the closing song to the fifth season of My Hero Academia which started airing earlier in the spring. I’ve been totally obsessed.

“Sports” by Beach Bunny 

I’m definitely not a huge sports person, but whenever I listen to this song, I imagine someone dressed super preppy at the tennis court on a hot summer day spying on their crush. Unrelated, if anyone wants to play tennis this summer, lemme know. 

Rachneet’s Picks: General Editor

“TNT” by Ruben Young

Long story short this guy is an up-and-coming R&B musician from Calgary and a University of Calgary alumni. I had the chance to interview him and I love promoting local artists, too. This is a hot summer bumpin’ track!

“Multi-Love” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

This is a track I’ve been digging by this psychedelic rock band from New Zealand. I’m surprised they haven’t blown up yet. It’s got a catchy vibe to it!

Ava’s Picks: General Editor

“Thumping” by Vincent Blue
I’m going to expose myself here as a K-drama addict. She Was Pretty is a late-summer staple — yes, this is me recommending it until I write a full article about must-watch K-dramas — and “Thumping,” which is the title song, perfectly captures the essence and butterflies of summer romance.  

“Sunny Summer” by GFRIEND
While I’m at it, I’ll just out myself as a K-pop fan as well. GFRIEND’s repertoire is full of hits, but in my humble opinion “Sunny Summer” is definitely their perfect summer hit. Though the group’s future is uncertain at the moment, I like to blast this song and imagine my girls are all back together again. 

“Billy Brown” by Mika
Mika’s Life in Cartoon Motion should be the official soundtrack of summer. Under the guise of a light and bouncy tune, the story of “Billy Brown” is a bit of a sad yet hopeful one. This is definitely a song to play on repeat during Pride month — and beyond. It brings up challenges members of the LGBTQ+ community — specifically bi- or pansexual individuals and those who come out later in life — might face and emphasizes how many have been and still are “a victim of the times.” 

“Kodachrome/Maybelline” by Simon and Garfunkel
“Kodachrome” is a song off Paul Simon’s solo album There Goes Rhymin’ Simon and is a nostalgic bop, perfect for the summer. On its own, it’s a great summer song, but smash it up with Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline” and add in Art Garfunkel’s angelic vocals — and cheers of a Central-Park-full of New Yorkers — and you have perfection. This track just makes you want to capture all those summer moments.  

“Girl” by Beck
In an alternate universe, this song would have been titled “Summer Girl,” which is honestly what it feels like. Though it might not exactly give off traditional beach vibes, it has all of the elements of a summer beach song. Maybe better suited for the “Goth Gauntlet Summer” playlist, “Girl” cools and empowers my alt-rock-loving heart and I hope y’all enjoy it too. 

“Hey Ya!” by Outkast
I’m starting to realize how many of my entries sound happy but in reality are super depressing or dark and this is definitely the case with Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” The song might be about the impermanence of love and doubts in a romantic relationship, but you gotta give it to Big Boi and André 3000, the song is the perfect summer dance track. After all, “y’all don’t want to hear [André], ya just wanna dance.” 

“Sarah Smiles” by Panic at the Disco!
This song might be Brenden Urie’s most wholesome creation. Written about his now-wife, Sarah, the song will make you Google “Sarah Urie smiling” just to see what the fuss is all about. Yet another love song, the light-hearted and upbeat track is perfect for summer days and nights alike. 

“Accidentally in Love” by Counting Crows
So at this point we’ve established that the Gauntlet is basically a Shrek fan club. This song is super breezy and fun to listen to. It’s all about fireflies on summer nights, picnic lunch at the beach, running through flower meadows while being chased by a mob of angry villagers and more. I recommend watching the clip from the movie for maximum impact. 

“LOVE YA!” by HYUKOH
This song is criminally underrated and is the perfect summer cycling song. Just imagine yourself listening to this song while zooming down a hill on your bike, through the tall grass, with the wind in your hair. 

“Two Doors Down” by Dolly Parton
This country hit is the greatest pick-me-up song for the summer. Although this is the “Hot Gauntlet Summer” playlist, sometimes you might be living the “Sad Gauntlet Summer” life and this song is specifically for those days. Do like Dolly, pick yourself up, join the party two doors down and have the adventure of a lifetime. 

“Le temps est bon” by Isabelle Pierre 
“Le temps est bon, le ciel est bleu,” the weather is nice and the sky is blue and you can translate the rest of the lyrics for yourselves. That’s all I’m going to say about this one. 

“Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone
This little hit by the Native-American band, Redbone is the best funky tune for the summer. Dance and boogie to your heart’s content. I specifically like listening to it on repeat when I have work to do — also known as editing articles. 

“Tongue Tied” by Grouplove 
An oldie but a goodie, you might recognize this song from TikTok. “Tongue Tied” might just be the perfect song for a summer spent with friends. Whether you go on a road trip, have a picnic in the park, camp out in the woods or whatever socially-distanced, responsible hang out plans you go through with, this song will make you feel like the main characters of an indie teen movie.

Funke’s Pick: Volunteer

“No Going Back” by Yuno

One of my favourite songs to jam out to (regardless of the time of year) is “No Going Back” by Yuno. It’s a great pop-rock tune to lift your spirits and just have fun dancing to, and so is especially suitable as a laid back summer track to have on repeat — think carpooling to the park with friends and jamming out to the funky chorus and playing air guitar riffs!

Aymen’s Picks: Voices Editor

“Harness Your Hopes — B-Side” by Pavement

Whether you’re dancing alone in your room or vibing at a picnic, this track is fun and bubbly and makes you want to stop caring about all the negative baggage that’s been weighing you down. If “bestie vibes” were a song, this track would be it.   

“Revvin’ My Cj7” by Summer Salt

Is it really a Summer Mix without a little sprinkle of beachy music? Maybe I’m just a sucker for guys in California but the ukulele in this track really has me feeling some type of way about surfing and ocean waves. 

“Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae

When Ritt Momney’s cover of this track was trending on TikTok a couple months ago it felt like the biggest injustice ever. This track, however? It is the blueprint. I would even go as far as to call it the more grown, and mentally stable, older sister of it’s more trendy cover. The raw vocals and harmonizing make me feel like I’m in a field of butterflies. 

“space girl” by Frances Forever

Cancer Season is officially here! This ballad to the Cancer woman is the best song to play if you want to feel otherworldly. This goddess-level type of beat was one that I had on repeat for most of Pride Month — and although June is over, songs about women loving women aren’t.

“Thot Shit” by Megan Thee Stallion

Our girl Meg pulled up just in time for Hot Girl Summer with this absolute bop. My apologies in advance to your neighbours because you’ll be blasting this track nonstop all the way to Christian Girl Autumn. 

“Ride or Die” by Megan Thee Stallion

As things are starting to open up again, I think it’s time we brought 2020’s hits back for their well deserved spot in the party scene. Even if your playlist is just going to be Ride or Die, WAP and Girls in the Hood on repeat. Old or new, Megan tracks bring the heat to every playlist. 

“My Type” by Saweetie feat. City Girls and Jhene Aiko

Whether you’re pregaming at your friend’s house, hyping yourself up while getting ready, or throwing it down at the club with the girls, you already know more than one of your friends is going to be yelling the chorus at the top of their lungs. Nature is healing with the return of hyped up drunk girls.

“Solar Power” by Lorde

Everyone saying Lorde’s new track feels like fake corporate girlboss feminism can leave and never come back. So what if Solar Power sounds like the music in a women’s razor commercial? Being happy, healthy, mentally stable and in love with the world around you is the new wave.

“Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift

Add this to the list of songs that a white girl would listen to while being carefree and dancing like nobody’s watching. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the perfect song to blast with the top down while you’re driving along the side of a mountain range this summer. 

“Cornelia Street” by Taylor Swift

This end-of-summer track leaves you reminiscing about the months you just left behind as the Fall Semester rolls in, and how the autumn air means a new chapter of your life is ready to begin. Almost like how seasons on Gossip Girl end with everyone coming back from their summers in the Hamptons back to the Upper East Side hustle. 

“long story short” by Taylor Swift

Aside from this being the catchiest shade thrown at Kanye and Kim yet, this track makes me want to romanticize all the things that don’t go as planned during those summer road trips and weekend getaways. Long story short, they build character, and like Taylor, you survived. 

“august” by Taylor Swift 

This is one of those songs you listen to when you’re knee deep in that summer bliss, with the wind in your hair and the sun freckling your skin. This track is giving major main character vibes, but when it comes to listening to Taylor Swift, when are you not the main character in the Wattpad fic of your dreams?  

Yasmine’s Picks: Visuals Editor

“Galbek Ween” by Hassan El Shafei

Great song! Producer is Egyptian, Vocalist is Algerian. Song is in Arabic and I’m listening to it NON-STOP. Y’all are gonna like it.

“Girls Go Wild” by LP

LP is a lovely (L)GBTQ artist. I love this song — it’s super summer-y vibey and awesome.

Kristy’s Picks: Volunteer Coordinator

“Thunder / Young Dumb & Broke” medley by Imagine Dragons, Khalid

This song reminds me of heading to a summer party in a limo — probably because this is exactly what was playing when I did exactly that (pre-pandemic of course!). 

“Maria Maria” by Santana

I’m showing my age here, but I remember when this dominated the summer airwaves. It’s always given me “throwback to driving around my hometown after just getting my drivers license and thinking I was the coolest” vibes.


Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet