Ah, summer: a time for hot air, cool breezes, and not wearing flip-flops in the shower; a time to gorge on local fast food chains not available during the school year while also mourning the temporary loss of the delicious steak and cheese; and the only time when we can actually get away with sleeping all day and, as long as you're 21, drinking all night. That’s what summer is about.
We are excited to bring you a narrowed down (yeah, narrowed down) list of fitting summer songs for your listening pleasure. Some you’ll know and some you won’t. It’s our hope that you’ll download at least some of these tunes and take them with you wherever you end up during these magical three months. Happy listening!
“Floats my Boat” — Aer
Few things scream summer more than super chill rap about just doing whatever the hell you want. Here, Mass-based duo, Aer, deliver a pivotal summer jam that will make you want to roll your windows down and just drive.
“Island in the Sun” — Weezer
Alt-legends, Weezer, can be sure that no one will ever forget who their band is during the warm months, as “Island in the Sun” is surely on summer playlists everywhere. Plus, the music video has baby lions and baby lions are dope.
“San Francisco” — The Mowgli’s
The Mowgli’s, an up-and-coming act out of SoCal, hit us with what is sure to be a summer hit. It features both catchy instrumentation and a sing-a-long chorus that will make it a summer 2014 staple.
“Young Blood” — The Naked and Famous
This synthpop gem from 2010 speaks on being “young and naïve still.” It’s brimming with sunshine and should be heard by all, especially the young adults out there who want a montage song for running in various places in slow motion this summer.
“Say I’m Wrong” — Ballyhoo!
This song by the reggae-fusion dudes from Maryland is packed with an air of sandy beaches and desperation. It’s an adolescent tale as old as time with a summery twist.
“All Summer” — Kid Cudi, Bethany Cosentino and Rostam Batmanglij
One of the most interesting tracks on this list, “All Summer” is a collaboration between oddball rapper/singer/producer Scott Mescudi; the lead singer of Best Coast, Bethany Cosentino; and Vampire Weekend’s jack-of-all-trades, Rostam Batmanglij.
“Toes” — Zac Brown Band
While it's hard to advocate for the listening of country music, this track is far too appropriate, and downright summery, to be omitted from this list. This one really makes you want to “lay in the hot sun and roll a big fat one and grab [your] guitar and play.”
“Swimming” — The Miracals
A quaint act out of LA, the Miracals are indie-surf aficionados. Their music is sweet and satisfying, and will ultimately leave you wanting more (which you can find on their Bandcamp page).
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Thomas Jack Remix)” — Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Tropical house DJ, Kygo, recently exposed the mainstream to the genre. Now, Thomas Jack takes a brilliant cover by Hawaiian music pioneer, Iz, and somehow makes it even chiller through the magic of tropical house. This song is both dance-party tested and sunny road trip approved.
“Cabin By the Sea” — The Dirty Heads
California reggae dudes, The Dirty Heads, are oh-so-good at what they do. Their incredible genre-mashing skills shine on this reggae-rock track. “Cabin By the Sea” will give you an inconsolable urge to go to the beach and relax around a campfire wrapped in a thin blanket and surrounded by the comfort of your good friends.
“Free” — Donovan Frankenreiter
If ever a song sounded like wholesome, sunny fun, then Donovan Frankenreiter’s “Free” is that song. It features a playful ukulele as well as the king of chill, Jack Johnson.
“Outside” — Asher Roth
Your resident bro-turned-hipster rapper, Asher Roth, urges you to put down our devices and relax outside. This track samples Cults’ “Go Outside” seamlessly and puts you in the mood to grab a friend and do just that.
“Don’t Worry Baby” — Grouplove
Covering a Beach Boys song is a massive feat. However, Grouplove takes on the task with both great care and innovation. They keep the verses musically similar, but have a fresh take on the chorus that give the song an updated surf-rock feel fit for any summer day.
“Papaouitai (Cymbol 303 Remix)” — Stromae
I’m sad to say that this song goes way beyond my knowledge of EDM. It’s some sort of deep house track with island influences. Whatever it is, it absolutely bumps and will mentally transport you to a French beach party whenever you please.
“Badfish” — Sublime
Sublime are the pioneers of reggae-rock fusion. “Badfish” is jam-packed with drug references that may or may not deter you from the activity depending on whether or not you’re more into the lyrics or the chill, reggae-influenced instrumentation.
“Banana Pancakes” — Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson’s soothing island rock style was a shoe-in for this list. Ocean breeze and the smell of sea salt practically emanate from every chord. There’s no listening to Jack Johnson songs like “Banana Pancakes” without hitting your mellow hard.
“Corona and Lime” — Shwayze
Though the notion of two people being as perfect for each other is pretty cheesy, this song manages to be extremely endearing and catchy. Also, I feel like using the idea as a pick-up line could go either way but would be interested to find out its success rate.
“King of the Beach” — Wavves
San Diego-based lo-fi band Wavves practically screams surf-rock. “King of the Beach” is full of fun distortion that somehow manages to evoke feelings of summer while simultaneously being rowdy and noisy.
“Fun, Fun, Fun” — The Beach Boys
No playlist of this kind could even begin to be complete without a tune from the kings of summer music, The Beach Boys. Any one of their songs could’ve made the list, but this one just makes you want to steal your dad’s car and drive forever, capturing the carefree essence of summer with ease.