In between this summer film series and my music reviews, I’ve been compiling a huge list of songs that absolutely connote a mood of summer for me (and also as a token for not providing enough songs for you recently). The majority of these songs are carefree, though some of them are bitterly aware of the transience of summer and the fact that the sun is an opiate of broken promises and hidden meanings. In any case, the following songs are recommended for any lover of rock and pop music, particularly for a party. I’d love any recommendations and additions for ones that I’ve forgotten or left off. Be warned, there's a TON of links after the jump, but they're there for your perusal and enjoyment.
(Note: The first 20 songs are sequenced perfectly for a summer mix, at least for me. After that, have at it with mixing things up since these are in no particular preference or order). I tried to avoid any obvious tunes – coughTheBeachBoyscough – as well as repeats of artists, but some artists just are too perfectly summery and corny for this list; summer isn’t a time for subtlety, after all. Also, given my Kentucky background and the fact that the majority of my youth was not spent as a music snob, but rather listening to the lax selection of tunes from Lexington’s rock stations, you’re getting quite a bit of classic rock down there. Like I said, it’s not perfect, but I think it’s a decent start. Again, leave me some suggestions down in the comments section.
“Laura” – Girls (Note: video is NSFW)
“White Winter Hymnal” – Fleet Foxes
“Don't Steal Our Sun” – The Thrills
“What Will You Do When Your Suntan Fades?” – Beulah
“Summertime” – Josh Rouse
“Drivin' Around” – The Raspberries
“Two Weeks” - Grizzly Bear
“Beachball” – R.E.M.
“Shooting Star” – The Mamas and the Papas
“Love Me Like You” – The Magic Numbers
“In Your Sea” – The Get Up Kids
“Girls Of Wild Strawberries” – Guided By Voices
“Under Cold Blue Stars” – Josh Rouse (a repeat, I know, but this man is a seriously underrated composer of summertime songs)
“Turn My Back on the Sun” – Big Star
“Make Your Own Kind Of Music” – Mama Cass Elliot
“Night Is The Day Turned Inside Out” – Beulah (Another repeat here, so I'm breaking my own rules, but Miles Kurofsky and company churned out some amazing sun-kissed pop back in the day)
“Cats Eyes” – Guillemots
“Sunshine” – Atmosphere
“Take A Run At The Sun” – Dinosaur Jr.
“The Boys of Summer” – Don Henley
“Fire Escape” – Fastball (Wow, what a creepy video. Also directed by Francis Lawrence of I am Legend fame)
“Just What I Needed” – The Cars (again, an ideal summer band) Check out my review of their new album here.
“Above the Clouds” – Paul Weller (If you like this, find his album Days of Speed. Great music from the