Let’s all be grateful for Childish Gambino’s summertime trifles

Childish Gambino, the musical alter ego of Donald Glover, released new music on Wednesday, showing a softer, more summer-minded side of his music.
(Burak Cingi / Redferns)

As his musical alter ego Childish Gambino, Donald Glover last released the brilliant, lacerating “This Is America,” whose video, in particular, captures the horror and absurdity of our modern times like few other songs in recent memory have.

But now we can add “breezy, beachside pop jams” to Glover’s long list of things he does well.

On Wednesday, he dropped a pair of lightweight, smooth-sipping tracks that are almost poignant in their populism and abject refusal to wade into the muck.


“Summertime Magic” is the first, the latest volley in North American acts dipping into the Caribbean for inspiration.

An obvious contender for songs of the summer, its steely synth lines and gentle air horns give it a joyful lift, the lyrics are pure soulful summer-crush material, and he adds just enough nimble melody to make this a perfect day-drinking backdrop.

“Feels Like Summer” is the hazier one, with humid production that drops its arrangements into a swirl of echo and reverb. Glover has been taking in a lot of Sade lately, as evident from the way he uses her style of high raspy croon to suave effect here.

Glover doesn’t need to remind us that he’s capable of more, so enjoy these trifles for what they are — a welcome gift during a hot, hard, scary summer.


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