When the weather starts getting warmer and the first few days in the 60s start getting strung together, I come alive. The sun is out, the earth starts turning green, and I start romanticizing the freedom of cruising culture — and then my music taste reflects it.
Imagine you’re in powder blue 1957 Chevrolet convertible, wind in your hair, sun on your face as you’re driving 90 down a highway on the Golden Coast. Reality can come crashing in quickly: I’m actually on the Douglass campus, only lying on a blanket on one of the grassy fields with retro-shaped sunglasses on.
But at least while a good playlist is going, I’m caught up in the enchanting quality of warm weather. I’m no expert on cruising culture that I’m looking back on — and I’m much more of a biking around kind of girl now — but I imagine up a lot of beach rock tracks and any song with innately “good vibes.”
I call it The One For The Good Weather, and if I’ve curated it correctly, you can imagine yourself on a trip to the beach. I like to think of a day that starts with the fast drive down and ends with my friends and me slouching on the sand as the sun goes down.
I Get Around by The Beach Boys
My romanticism of the past directed my pick of the first track. This 1964 single is all about moving around town, cruising to be more specific. On an almost aimless journey under sun, these boys are just having a brand of careless fun that I directly associate with the end of winter.
Summer House by Gold Motel
This love song carries the same beachy vibes as “I Get Around” for me. Performed by Chicago-based indie pop band, the soft guitar parts balanced by the sharp riffs in the chorus and mixed in with upbeat drumming, makes a song all about summer feel like summer.
Honeymoon Phase by Radiator Hospital
This track is short and sweet just like summer love, or at least the honeymoon phase of it. My friends and I would call this song “Bop City,” which is pretty self-explanatory. (Plus, it’s one of my favorite’s of Radiator Hospital because of the female’s supporting vocals.)
T-Shirt Weather by Circa Waves
I first heard this song yesterday — thanks to my best friend Spotify Premium — and I’ve never been closer to my convertible fantasy while walking down George Street than I have with this song. Something about the tone of lead singer Kieran Shudall’s voice lulls me onto a sandy beach, and his lyrics about reminiscing the happier times (the t-shirt weather) is all too relatable.
Let’s Dance To Joy Division by The Wombats
Another English band may be too revealing of how low my bar for good weather is, but I can’t let that take away from the feel of a song that encourages you to let loose and dance despite everything. “Celebrate the irony, everything is going wrong, but we’re so happy… this could all go so wrong, but we’re so happy.” What could be more uplifting?
This Is The Life by Two Door Cinema Club
This song is meant to be the shift in the playlist: Now we’ve made it to the beach. You’ve laid out your towel and can simply exist under the sweet, warm rays of the sun or strip of your clothes and venture into the water. You can do anything you want really because you’ve made it to the beach, and this is the life.
You Make My Dreams by Daryll Hall & John Oates
Another oldie slipped its way in, but this time from the 1980s in the form of a pop rock song. This track also makes me think of summer love and compliments Honeymoon Phase from the first half. It’s impossible to associate anything negative with this song, putting you right back in that cloud of euphoria.
Way It Goes by Hippo Campus
Hippo Camus’s lead vocalist Jake Luppen has a similar voice to Shudall’s from Circa Waves, which also makes the same connections for me, but the real reason this was picked was the distortion on the guitar in the instrumental bridge. In the context of the whole song that instrumental piece feels like the summer sun’s haze distorting your vision, reflecting across the sea and hitting sand particles that are drifting through the air.
Cannibal Queen by Miniature Tigers
“It’s good having somebody good for a change” is the line that really got me. The steady guitar riff creates a sense of comfort and a constant, similar to the consistency of waves crashing on the shore. The real flare comes from the vocals and supporting vocals — excluding the instrumental bridge —in the same way the more inconsistent sounds at the beach come from people’s and animals’ voices too — people chatting on the boardwalk and birds chirping above you.
First Day Of My Life by Bright Eyes
This simple song has a quality that makes it truly sublime. I think this song could close out many playlists, but in the case of The One For The Good Weather, imagine the sun setting in front of you. The world is purple and pink, and every shade in between; the moon is rising on the other side of you; and you’re on a blanket still on the beach when everyone else has gone home for the day. Whatever you feel at that moment is how this day, and playlist, is supposed to end.