Summer cannot truly feel like summer until the music starts playing. There are so many songs I could go on and on about for any summer occasion, whether it be a beach day, a day trip or something as simple as a car ride with the windows down. These nine songs are some of the greatest songs for the summertime that I would recommend for any of your playlist needs.
Silver Soul – Beach House
Silver Soul is part of an album published by Beach House in 2010 titled “Teen Dream,” so by no means is this a recent drop. However, the timelessness of this song will always stand, as Beach House’s masterful mix of synth and guitar create one of the most beautiful and emotion-evoking tracks of the last few decades. Kendrick Lamar samples Silver Soul on his smash hit “Money Trees,” if you’re looking for a more upbeat version of the sound. If you’re a fan of the psychedelic vibe that Beach House brings along, you’ll love “Space Song” from their album “Depression Cherry.” Regardless, Silver Soul is the song in particular that makes me feel like I’m actually at the beach and finally able to unwind or relax, and it is an instant add to any summer setlist.
Heaven Takes You Home – Swedish House Mafia ft. Connie Constance
Summer is all about spending time with friends and unwinding from the long and difficult school year by blasting some music through the car with the windows all the way down. With that in mind, “Heaven Takes You Home” should be the song blaring from your speakers. This song falls into the EDM category, so get ready for a crazy beat drop; Swedish House Mafia finally returned after a long hiatus and their new album, “Paradise Again,” was everything fans hoped it would be. A melodic, slowed down outro brings the song altogether, but the energy of the first major part of the song is unbeatable if you’re looking to amp up your aux game this summer.
Everyday – A$AP Rocky, Rod Stewart, Miguel, Mark Ronson
I had to include at least one of my favorite rap songs on this list. This song is by no means a boring, uninspired rap song but instead a track that exudes and exemplifies the word “fancy.” The organ rings in the back of the song as the vocals truly shine through. The beat switch changes the momentum of the song and brings a more gritty tone but the original sample comes right back for a grand finale. The four artists who collaborated for this song all bring incredibly unique aspects to it, making it so much more than just a summer rap song but instead an anthem.
Brazil – Declan McKenna
Songs like this are usually not my cup of tea but since I was recently exposed to this song from 2015, I have pretty much fallen in love with it. This song feels like a beautiful sunset that you’re watching slowly fall with friends while swimming or just chilling on a dock. I can see myself in that certain place while this song is playing, and the light guitar paired with McKenna’s impeccable vocals is nothing more than a treat for the ears.
Up Up and Away – Kid Cudi
I just wanted to include one more rap song on this list because it has been and will continue to be one of my go-to summer songs, and my favorite song by Kid Cudi. My little sister saw this song live in concert before I could and it will forever make me jealous; but regardless, talk about a song that brings pure fun. Kid Cudi’s energy, excitement and delivery all make this song near perfection. He references getting up in the morning and completely being at peace with himself; this song makes you feel like the sun is shining, birds are chirping and life is good.
The Less I Know The Better – Tame Impala
Tame Impala’s most streamed song and biggest hit, “The Less I Know The Better,” falls into a trance-like iridescence similar to Beach House’s “Silver Soul”. The drums, electric guitar and vocals consume the listener into a different dimension, one where the listener can nearly put a finger on the song’s aura. It is no wonder that this song has topped charts, and it is no secret that its all-encompassing alloy of instruments fits into the exact niche that summer music fans are looking for.
Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) – Kate Bush
A 2018 remastering of Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love” album saw the re-release of the 1985 hit “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God).” I hope it doesn’t sound too cliche to add this one to my list, but with the fact that it just recently charted on the Billboard Hot 100 after some time and has been used as one of the key elements to the storyline of Netflix’s “Stranger Things 4,” it has exposed me to this song and its perfection. I think a lot of older songs from the 70s through the 90s make for really great summertime tunes, so if you’re lacking any inspiration in a summer playlist, look farther back than you normally would and find some jams.
C’est La Vie – Surfaces
For my second-to-last pick, I have chosen one of the most special summer songs to me. I don’t know if you can necessarily call Surfaces “country music” artists, but the musical group from Texas is able to blend soul and pop together with the use of acoustic guitars and other instruments. “C’est La Vie” literally translates to “that’s life” in English, and the song employs its namesake well. Not caring and merely looking to get out and enjoy life is exactly what the group is looking to do on this song, which makes it quite easy for the summer listener to enjoy. This song holds a very special place in my heart, especially around the summertime.
Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band ft. Jimmy Buffet
I have been, by no means, ranking these songs on my list, but if I had to choose one to listen to on loop all summer long, I am taking the hands-down greatest summer song of all time – “Knee Deep” by Zac Brown Band. I know my dad (shoutout to him!) is going to very much agree with me in that Zac Brown Band is one of our favorite bands to listen to during the summer due to how relaxing and beachy their music is. Every year on our annual family trip to the Maine coastline, any form of yacht rock is always present, and that all starts here with the linkup of Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffet. If you are at the beach, grab your speaker and hit play on this song – you’ll thank me later.
With all of that being said, these are the nine songs I would like to think are locks for any summertime setlist. With a fair mix of country music, soulful pop or even rap, there is no shortage of songs that can be played to perfection in a summer setting. Happy Summer Stags!!
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