Fourteen songs for six summer occasions


Summer is a magical time. Regardless of our exam results, we all deserve to celebrate the season. And what better way to celebrate than with awesome music for our favorite cliché activities?

1) Driving around with your windows down (alone, like a badass)
Whether its driving to the beach or just on the way to work, we all have times when we want to roll the windows down and blast our music. Childish Gambino’s “Zealots of Stockholm” is the first of my recommendations for such an activity. “Because the Internet,” the LP it stems from, rocked the charts of 2013 for good reason.

Speaking of rocking the charts, no one does it better than Queen Bey herself. Men and women alike praised Bey for the “secret album” she dropped in late 2013. Its arrival was surprising, but the sex appeal and overall quality of the release was not. Add “Partition” to your list of songs to make you feel like a complete badass.

Last but not least, be sure to blast “Stay Schemin” by Rick Ross. Laugh all you want, but this is another new rap classic that makes every listener feel cool. Even I grow an ego playing this in my painfully suburban neighborhood. But heed my warning: playing Rick Ross too loudly in a residential area may earn you some unfavorable looks and names.

2) Driving around with your windows down (and talking with friends)
Sometimes you want your rap music to hype you up, other times you’d rather it set a relaxed tone. D-Why is perfect for the latter. Originally from West Virginia, this confident artist unites clever rhymes with catchy beats for a more than enjoyable listening experience. “Good Will Stunting” is a worthy song to play on those priceless sunset drives with friends.

Bryce Vine follows a parallel style to D-Why with “Sour Patch Kids.” The song’s message is to enjoy life by doing absolutely nothing. The chorus says, “I don’t wanna worry ‘bout nothin’ for a while, I just wanna play around livin’ like a child.” Perfect for cruising.

While Bryce Vine and D-Why are both respectable artists, sometimes rap doesn’t cut it for these drives. That’s where Dan Croll comes in. Combining folk elements with electronic rhythms, Croll’s “From Nowhere” is perfect for both singing along and simply background music.

3) Driving around with your windows up
Sorry, this is not an option.

4) Laying in the sun by the pool/ocean/lake
Regardless of your opinion of reggae, being out in the sun fosters an undeniable mood for Marley — Bob Marley, that is. But recommending a Marley song would be insulting to a cultured reader such as yourself. Thus, I suggest looking at Slightly Stoopid and Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds. “Wiseman” (by the former) and “Only For You” (the latter) are the perfect feel-good songs for a beautiful summer’s day by the water. And if those don’t do it for you, “Rani Mukerji” by Blue Scholars just might. The song blends hip-hop and reggae flawlessly for a very different sound that you can’t help but groove to.

5) Staying out way too late and intentionally forgetting you have to be up at 7:30 for work tomorrow
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Jay Z is an obvious choice for occasions such as these, and few songs can get a crowd going like “On To The Next One” can. Yet, the not-so-obvious choices must be considered. Iggy Azalea’s latest album “The New Classic” (appropriately named) is catchy and exciting. A particular favorite of mine is “Black Widow” — every verse emits energy and excitement.

6) Laying on a hammock at night
Staring at the stars on a clear night makes everyone feel a little emotional. “Marilyn” by G-Eazy reflects on an outwardly perfect relationship that is falling apart at the seams. I’d say it caters to the mood.

Additionally, The Front Bottoms and Modern Baseball are go-to bands for nights you want to remember. “Swimming Pool,” a track off the former’s 2011 self-titled album, carries a unique sound that offers a breath of fresh air. “Your Graduation” by Modern Baseball is a similar listening experience. Whether or not you like indie-punk, you are sure to appreciate the cathartic lyrics with tasteful acoustic accompaniment.

Published April 28, 2014 in Arts and Entertainment, tableau

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