It’s summer. But how do we know? There are signs: you have an insatiable urge to have sand between your toes and a “healthy” beach glow, fish tacos sound pretty good for every meal, and you’re seriously considering taking up jogging.
These are all valid indications of beach season. But while we engage in the beautiful clichés of summer, weekends sipping Limeritas by the pool and watching skater kids with neon shades pass by – what do we hear? What do we listen to? What about the music?
In my experience, the soundtrack to summer is vital. Whether one decides to kick it old school with a boom box on their shoulder (do people still do that?), or create monthly CDs (yes, people still drive around with piles of sharpie-labeled mix CDs rolling around their car – don’t judge), or listen via immaculate music libraries (like most technological savvy beings), the sounds of summer can ultimately make the heat bearable and life feel really good.
Here’s a summer soundtrack of 25 new-ish tunes that could add a little something unique to the start of the season. Give ‘em a shot!
1. Dan Croll – “From Nowhere”
– If you haven’t heard of Dan Croll yet, where have you been? Only kidding, but you should probably get acquainted with this delectable tune.
2. HAIM – “Falling”
– Even if you don’t (or can’t) dance, this song will make you dance (or at least try).
3. Bipolar Sunshine – “Rivers”
– Fusing hip-hop and indie pop, Bipolar Sunshine uses syncopated drumbeats and sentimentality to create something stunning.
4. PYYRAMIDS – “Don’t Go”
– Two musical friends enjoyed the sounds of British post-punk and 80’s pop, so they created PYYRAMIDS with both influences in mind. The product is delightfully powerful. Watch the video to watch a cute kid try to keep up with the lyrics.
– Tame Impala claims to be “epiphany pop.” I concur. This Beatles-esque tune features sweet harmonies, and the remixed version packs an extra punch…
6. Alpine – “Gasoline”
– This Australian ensemble creates shimmering alternative dance tracks. Makes me want to plan a pool party; if I only had a pool.
7. Sir Sly – “Ghost”
– Sir Sly is rock with strong beats and a heavy synth sound. Turn this echo-y track up in the biggest speakers you can find.
8. Bear Mountain – “Congo”
– Electro-sampling elements with a Paul Simon world-beat flare. YES.
9. Speedy Ortiz – “Ka-Prow!”
– We all love cute bad-ass rocker girls, right? Introducing Speedy Ortiz. Even if the lyrics aren’t always audible, the stuffed lobster spinning on a record in the video (@ 53 seconds) says it all: Summer can get a little dizzy.
10. PLOY – “VRDSNT”
– ‘If you want it babe, just come on over.’ 80’s influenced, bright and uplifting. Your solo dance party starts… Now.
11. Crystal Fighters – “You & I”
– ‘And I need nothing else, no one else but you and I.’ This song makes me want to bicycle across the world; If I only had a bike… Instead I’ll watch this cool, yet weirdly depressing, music video.
12. Wavves – “Afraid of Heights”
– ‘I’m ugly, you’re boring, I can’t act like I care. I think I’m dying, Maybe I’m thirsty, I think I must be drunk.’ Wavves are so punk, it kills me. That’s a compliment.
13. Candy Says – “Favourite Flavour”
– Super-catchy chorus: ‘You’re my favourite flavor, na-na-na-na-na-na…’
14. Portugal. The Man – “Hip Hop Kids”
– Portugal. The Man rocks. Give this track a listen, and also check out the gentler “Sea of Air” from their newest album.
15. Mr Little Jeans – “Oh Sailor”
– Something about a chorus of little kids happily singing sounds like summer. Or maybe it’s because the song is about a sailor. Or maybe it’s because they mention the sea and the ocean. If this isn’t a summer tune, I don’t know what is.
16. Dirty Art Club – “Hemlock”
– Psychedelic. Atmospheric. Different. No lyrics necessary.
17. ASTR – “Operate”
– Super-sexy, Hip-Hop/R&B influences, big bass, etc. Play it.
18. Elvis Depressedly – “Weird Honey”
– This just might be the best explicit-fuzzy-sentimental punk around. Bright bass texture with dark moodiness, Elvis Depressedly is a summer necessity.
19. Hanni El Khatib – “Nobody Move”
– Reggae + Rock + Dan Auerbach (producer of The Black Keys) = Hanni El Khatib!
20. TV Girl – “She Smokes in Bed”
– ‘Mary doesn’t care about herself, so what chance is there for anybody else? Sometimes I wonder about the heartache that lies ahead, any day now she’ll set fire to her head. She smokes in bed.’ Cool new track from San Diego-based TV Girl.
21. Alice Boman – “Waiting”
– “Waiting” is a quiet, fresh summer tune. It’s really quite beautiful; it’ll make you want to take your sweetie to the beach and watch the sunset. Or maybe just want to sit around feeling sad. One or the other.
22. Sion Russell Jones – “So Long”
– This foot-tapping folk track has reverberant qualities that will make you want to press repeat…
23. The Preatures – “Is This How You Feel?”
– Female and male vocals set atop feel-good rock and roll, with lyrics tracing the anxieties of love. We can dig it.
24. Phoria – “Red”
– This experimental group from Brighton uses melancholic piano chords layered with driving beats and claps to create a cinematic, gorgeous track.
25. CHVRCHES – “Recover”
– If you’re in need of 80’s-tinged electro pop, you’re in luck because CHVRCHES is taking over. This song will stick in your brain like glue. You’re welcome.