The summer is winding down — which means it’s time to go hard. We’ve got a song for every sun-soaked occasion, right here and ready-to-go. (We even made a Spotify soundtrack so you don’t have to!)
When You’re: Lounging in the sun.
Listen to: “God Only Knows” by JR JR;“The Lung” by Hiatus Kaiyote
When you have nowhere else to be but in your lounge chair, soaking up the summer sun, you need music that will help you lose all concepts of time and urgency. The softly-sung, dreamy cover of the Beach Boys hit “God Only Knows” will make you think of nothing but the drink you’re sipping. The deep repetition of the chord progression in “The Lung” is a funky alternative that will, without a doubt, puts some trance in your chill.
When You’re: At a Beach/ Pool Party
Listen To: “Cassidy” by Brett Dennen; “Mar” by Bomba Estereo; “Your Lips” by Olu Dara
These songs are easy to listen to and hard not to sway to — perfect for a day spent with friends on the beach or by the pool. Brett Dennen channels Van Morrison’s infectious sound in his song “Cassidy,” which, from the bouncing baseline to the organ, is quintessential feel-good summer music. “Mar” by Bamba Estero spices it up a little with a faster beat and acoustic guitar riff that is as smooth as a sweet summer breeze. Olu Dara’s “Your Lips” makes you feel like you are on a tropical island, in a linen shirt, drinking rum out of a coconut, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.
When You’re: On a Road Trip
Listen To: “What Does it Mean” by American Babies; “From Nowhere” by Dan Croll; “Mahgeetta” by My Morning Jacket; “Peaches” by In The Valley Below
Summer road trips are great for singing all your guilty pleasure songs, but that gets tiresome after the first hour or so. Try these songs out as you get to where you’re going. “What Does It Mean” has a catchy chorus and a heavy bassline that gives it a rock ballad feel; — perfect for driving with your windows down. Jim James, the lead vocalist of My Morning Jacket, has sweet vocals tones that serve as a perfect contrast to the band’s folk rock feel in “Maghetta.” The steady beat and contagious hooks found in “From Nowhere” by Dan Croll and “Peaches” by In the Valley Below are perfect songs to keep you entertained (but not oversensitized) as you cruise along to your summer destination.
When You’re: Camping
Listen To: “Good Moon” by Michael Nau; “Florida Key” by New Basement Tapes
Camping and summer are as perfect a combination as Hershey’s chocolate, marshmallow, and graham crackers. It’s a great way to get away from it all and really, minus the bugs, heat, and holes you have to dig to use the bathroom, camping reminds you that nature is beautiful and wondersome. If you happen to find yourself camping this summer, embrace the outdoor experience with these beautiful little ditties. “Good Moon” by Michael Nau is simplicity at its finest. The gentle echoing effect on his vocals and the electric guitar are only kept grounded by the slow strumming of the guitar in a perfectly meditative way. The New Basement Tapes is a collective of musicians including Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Elvis Costello, Jim James, and Marcus Mumford. Their rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Florida Key” has a delicate melody with heart-wrenching potency — ideal music for stargazing by a bonfire.
When You’re: Finally cool enough to dance
Listen To: “Capsized”by FRENSHIP and Emily Warren; “What If I Go” by Mura Masa; “Classic” by The Knock featuring POWERS.
Summer is the season for parties, and sometimes those parties take place in the heat of the day when really you don’t feel like moving. Here are a couple of songs to dance to once the sun (and the temperature) goes down. “Capsized” is a pop-influenced electronic/dance duet with a great beat and catchy chorus. “What If I Go” by Mura Masa has clean vocals and is a delicious mix of R&B, hip-hop, electronica and dance. The Knocks’ song “Classic” featuring POWERS is a little more funk-influenced, but it also has a steady beat that is irresistible.