Music to Travel By: The Songs of Summer

In honor of the recent Summer Solstice, I have come up with a great summer playlist that is perfect for travelling anywhere:

Sweet Thing – Change Of Seasons

I first heard this song in Easy A and immediately had to have it. The five-piece band, Sweet Thing, hails from Toronto. This song is super summery to me with upbeat drums and bright vocals and my favorite la-la’s. The perfect track to kick off summery drive with the windows down.

Black Mountain – The Hair Song

Gotta love this song, which was released in late 2010 on Wilderness Heart. After listening to this song for the first time last July, I was hooked. With strong guitar riffs and the title itself, I imagined dancing about outside with my hair blowing around in the summer winds.

Madonna – Ray Of Light

Look at the title of this song, listen to it once, and you will understand why it is on this summer playlist. Madonna=amazing.

Andrew Bird – Danse Carribe

This song, from his new album Break It Yourself,  starts off slow and makes me dream of strawberry daiquiris on the beach. The middle of the song picks up with a true Caribbean vibe and gets my hips shaking. I love the whistles, fiddles, and steel drum-esque instruments.

M. Ward – To Go Home

While it is not the happiest song lyrically, M. Ward’s “To Go Home” gets me feeling summery. It is all in the heavy, up tempo drums. I can’t help but nod my head to the cheery beat. This song reminds me of road tripping last summer, so I deemed it worthy of being on a summery playlist.

Delta Spirit – California

This song has been one of my music obsessions so far this summer. I can’t get enough of it. Off of Delta Spirit’s recent self-titled album, “California” makes me want to “find whatever [my] heart needs” this summer. I love it. So much. Love.

Boy & Bear – Feeding Line

I prefer the live version from SXSW, but this song is amazing. It has a classic country vibe mixed with indie energy. Don’t ask me what that description really means, just listen to “Feeding Line” and figure it out for yourself. To say the least, it’s a good one.

Grouplove – Tongue Tied

Look at that picture. Listen to this song. Give me a reason that this doesn’t belong on every summer playlist. You can’t.

The Avett Brothers – And It Spread

It took me a little while to get on board the Avett Brothers train, but I am definitely on it now. “And It Spread” opens with a punch and keeps going with cheery guitar and a perfect vocal twang. Picture yourself driving through some beautiful countryside with the windows down and the sun shining all day long.

Little Red – Coca Cola

This band has made it big in its Australian home, and hopefully will hit big here in the U.S. “Coca Cola” is a fast-paced summer jam, with a beachy feel. Whenever I hear this song, I think of movie montages of people frolicking in waves or playing volleyball on the coast.

Neon Trees – Moving In The Dark

This band has a weird, dark, pop sound that I love. “Moving in the Dark” makes me dance no matter where I am, or what I’m doing. Most times, I hear this song in the car and can’t help but belt the lyrics along with the lead singer Tyler Glenn.

Alexandra Stan – Mr. Saxobeat – Radio Edit

What is a summer playlist without a summer radio hit like “Mr. Saxobeat?” Nothing. That is why it’s here.

Fun. – We Are Young – feat. Janelle Monáe

It is impossible to go anywhere or tune in to any radio station without hearing this song. “We Are Young” has become the anthem of this generation and will probably be one of the songs of 2012. Just as the band’s name suggests, the track is just fun.

Fun. – Some Nights

Another great song by Fun. that is full of energy. Nate Ruess delivers amazing bright vocals on this track.

Tiga – Far from home (DFA remix)

This remix is pretty stellar. It makes me feel nostalgic, so that’s why it’s on this playlist. But when you listen to it, you’ll feel summery.

Maroon 5 – Payphone

Adam Levine is perfect in many ways: voice, body, tattoos. This song from Maroon 5’s upcoming album, Overexposed, is fantastic. The beat is peppy, and Levine’s vocals are amazing, as usual. I first heard this song in the spring when it was released, and it has been stuck in my head since then.

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

I love this song for any time of the year, but it has a special home in the summer. Listening to this song reminds me of spending time in the Adirondacks during the summer hiking season.

Calvin Harris vs. Daft Punk vs. Wolfgang Gartner – Feel So Close (Fareoh Feels So Cold Bootleg)

Another summer radio hit remixed. This song gets me dancing every time.

Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks

Of Monsters and Men – Six Weeks

Of Monsters and Men is an amazing sextet from Iceland who burst into the music world this year. I love them so much because every song on their album is great for sunny days. They have perfected a bright sound that will keep me listening to them for hours.

Beach House – Myth

Beach House made another amazing album Bloom which was released earlier this summer. “Myth” is a great track off the album that I think is perfect for hanging out on a summer night with friends.

Fanfarlo – Atlas – Soundtrack Version

This London-based band caught my attention when I heard “Atlas” in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The track is bright and strong, with mandolins, guitars, and  steady drums. Almost any song with mandolin in it is perfect for a sunny day.

Alexander – Awake My Body

Alexander – Let’s Win!

Both of these tracks are so summery it’s absurd. Alexander, front man of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, released his solo album last summer and filled it with a variety of tunes. I love all of them, but these two are perfect for a summer day by the pool, road trip, or anything else that involves the sun.

Aeroplane – We Can’t Fly

This song is hilarious. It is upbeat and has a Caribbean vibe to it that makes it perfect to jam out to by the pool.

LP – Into the Wild

Another one of my summer, music obsessions, LP’s “Into the Wild” is outstanding. That’s all I can say about it.

The Lumineers – Ho Hey

This song. This song. This song! “Ho Hey” is the perfect mix of country and indie. It’s bursting ho’s and hey’s and colorful mandolin make it a track fit for summer. Plus, the three members of the band are all adorable.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – 40 Day Dream

Probably one of my favorite bands and songs of all time. “40 Day Dream” gets me into a sunny mood even on a rainy day. Everything about this track is spectacular.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Home (RAC Mix)

Check out this remix of Home. It’s just something different from the original that still fills me up with something wonderful.

The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing

The beachy title alone tells you that this song belongs on a summer playlist. Let’s go surfing? I mean, it’s so obvious and so good.

The Black Keys – Lonely Boy

I have seen at least four commercials this summer with a Black Keys song in it. Just goes to show that The Black Keys are one of the “it” bands right now. Their vintage, garage rock is just what I want to hear this summer, mixed with all of the other, more indie bands on this playlist.

The Moondoggies – Long Time Coming

Immediate, vibrant guitar riffs make this song a summer winner in my book. The Moondoggies have married a country rock sound with tambourines and vocal harmonies for a great sunshiney result. This is definitely a foot-stomping track.

Braids – Lemonade

First of all, this picture is stunning. Second, this song is awesome. “Lemonade” is perfect for late night summer drives with friends.

ANR – It’s Around You

This Miami-born band has created a great, summer night, party jam. “It’s Around You” has a sultry, slower beat and electronic sounds that make it perfect for dancing up close. The song feels sweaty and hot, therefore fitting for the summer.

Walk the Moon – Anna Sun

The name of this track make it a good tune for summer, along with the buoyant and bouncy sound throughout. It might be necessary to wear sunglasses every time you hear this song.

Washed Out – New Theory

Another great for a summer night party, Washed Out has created a steamy song that I can’t wait to groove to. “New Theory” has a beachy quality to it with its echoey vocals and wave-like sounds.

Belle & Sebastian – Another Sunny Day

This song makes for a great summer, road trip song. Windows down. Sunglasses on. Belting the lyrics. There is no way that you could listen to this song and not feel happy, warm, and summery.

Givers – Noche Nada

OMG this song is beyond words. Picture this: Lying on soft, green grass. Eyes closed. Sun beaming onto you. A slight breeze. Friends around you. It is perfect. I feel all of that every time I listen to this track by Givers. I am in love love love with this song.

I hope you find this playlist to exemplify summer as I much as I do. Enjoy, and have fun in the sun.

Happy Summer!
Happy Travels!