Summertime means a release from your routine, new opportunities and time to unwind. Ultimately, summer is what you make of it. Whether you devote the season to much-needed relaxation or you designate your newfound free time to working on projects, here are 10 bright songs to listen to this summer.
“August” by Flipturn
Flipturn lead singer Dillon Basse is simultaneously gritty and dreamy on this intense indie rock track. While Basse shouts lyrics about a honey-sweet love affair, the buildup of electric guitar and drums in the background makes listeners eager for what’s next. Basse croons, “But now you’re a stranger / And I’m still July / But don’t you remember? / August, honey, you were mine.” Flipturn’s “August” is a sensual, hazy summer affair soundtrack.
“The Golden Road” by the Grateful Dead
The 1967 track “The Golden Road” is the quintessential summertime song, first debuting during the American “Summer of Love.” Singer Jerry Garcia rambles about barefoot hippies, dancing in the sunshine and summer vacations. The rock track embodies the freedom ushered in by the summer season.
“Tek It” by Cafuné
The duo behind Cafuné, Noah Yoo and Sedona Schat, deliver a dreamy, airy sound on their track “Tek It.” While Yoo’s plucky guitar riff flows through the track, Schat sings autotuned, moody lyrics about moving on from someone and giving into feeling. The cathartic track is appealing not only for its addictive, blissful sound, but also because it captures the feeling of a summer release – letting go to enjoy all the potential that the season brings.
“Silk Chiffon” by MUNA ft. Phoebe Bridgers
Throughout the bright track, MUNA and Phoebe Bridgers’ lyrics paint the image of a sweet, summery sapphic relationship. MUNA’s lead singer Katie Gavin’s vocals are entrancing and undeniably likeable. MUNA, whose members have spoken on LGBTQ representation, delivers a delightful queer track to enjoy this Pride month.
“Everybody Wants to Love you” by Japanese Breakfast
On top of a captivating guitar riff and accompanied by gorgeous background vocals, Japanese Breakfast’s frontwoman Michelle Zauner sings about excitement, love and longing in this upbeat track. Infectious and absolutely fun, “Everybody Wants to Love You” is a feel good song that embodies desire in budding relationships – a perfect soundtrack for spending the summer with someone.
“Warm” by Dre’es ft. Mia
The R&B and rap track “Warm” is breezy, glittery and (of course) warm. Dre’es and featured artist Mia embrace the act of falling in love. Over a soft synth, Mia sings, “While we lay in diamonds / On a faraway island in a blissful silence / You and I can, you and I can / Fall in love, fall in love.” The smooth, gentle sound is reminiscent of a relaxing beach getaway and summer romance.
“Sister Golden Hair” by America
America’s 1975 folk rock track “Sister Golden Hair,” written by guitarist Gerry Beckley, sounds just like summer. The lyrics depict the image of an idealized, ethereal woman. Beckley obsesses, “Well, I keep thinking ‘bout you, / Sister Golden Hair surprise / And I just can’t live without you, / Can’t you see it in my eyes?” The deceptively depressing lyrics – about longing and commitment anxiety – are hidden beneath the cheery backtrack and vocals.
“Sea Sick” by Binki
Over an addictive guitar riff and drumbeat, Binki oozes romance – comparing his lover to sweet orange soda, sunshine and a warm sauna. The rap chorus, “You could be my sunshine even when it’s gray,” is infectious. Optimistic and light, Binki’s track is a summer playlist staple.
“Lola” by the Kinks
The Kinks’ 1970 track “Lola” is an upbeat classic. The Kinks’ songwriter Ray Davies wrote the track based on a personal experience in a London nightclub in the ‘60s. Davies croons about a beautiful, transgender woman who captured his attention for the evening. The catchy, nostalgic rock track is a fun, breezy way to celebrate Pride month and embrace trans visibility.
“Heaven In Drag” by Lo Talker
Lo Talker’s 2021 track “Heaven In Drag” is gorgeous. The indie rock band’s track is tranquil and touching. With sweet and soft lyrics by Andrew Shepard, the acoustic guitar song is an ideal mellow soundtrack for the end of a summer night.