Now that summer is officially bearing down on all of us, it stands to reason that I, the Listmaker, would put together a list of the songs that represent summertime to me. They’re songs that I listen to all year round, but they especially speak to me in the summer. This idea has actually been rolling around in my head for a while now, so here’s my list of summer songs, in no particular order:
Jimmy Buffett, pretty much everything he’s ever done — Love him or hate him (and I love him), nothing says “summer” like Buffett and his music. There’s nothing like seeing him live, but I can listen to any of his many live recordings or anything he’s done in the studio and be taken away to the beaches of my mind.
Zac Brown Band, “Where The Boat Leaves From” — I probably could’ve done the same thing with Zac Brown Band that I did with Buffett, but this song is head and shoulders above them all in representing summer to me. I love nearly everything ZBB has done, but when it comes to summer, you can’t beat “Where The Boat Leaves From.”
Dakoda Motor Co., “Grey Clouds” — Christian surf rock? It sounds crazy, but Dakoda Motor Co. did it with such excellence over two albums* (Into The Son and Welcome Race Fans) that they remain timeless. You could pick any song from either album, but this is my favorite one…and one of my favorite songs of all time. I especially love that steel guitar…
Pat Green, “Somewhere Between Texas And Mexico” — Pat Green is another artist whom, for me, you can’t go wrong with, but this song in particular just makes me think of sitting by the pool soaking up the sun. I can’t help but feel caught up in the vibe of the song.
Melanie Penn, “Ordinary Day” — I’ve been extolling the virtues of Melanie Penn to anyone I can lately. Her debut album, Wake Up Love, is just amazing; so far I’m going on record to call it the best album of 2010. While most of it is fairly melancholy, “Ordinary Day” has a bouncy quality that fits summer well. It’s a terrific year-round song, but it’s gotten me through some hot summer days lately.
The Mamas & The Papas, “I Saw Her Again” — The Mamas & The Papas are second only to the Beatles in terms of my favorite 60’s artists. Their amazing, and quintessentially California, harmonies and knack for choosing amazing material really solidify their place among my favorites. This is probably their most upbeat song, so it’s a natural choice for my list of summer songs.
Delta Spirit, “Trashcan” — I got hooked on this song through Friday Night Lights, so I really don’t know anything else about this band. But this song has such a windows-down kind of quality, that I can’t help but turn it up when I hear it.
The Allman Brothers Band, “Back Where It All Begins” — ABB is another band whose entire catalog I could listen to, but I highlighted this one because it’s a lesser-known gem among their songs. I just love the vibe of this song…
Vigilantes Of Love, “It’s Not Bothering Me” — Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that this song appears on the Summershine album, but I like to think not. I love the whole Brit-pop sound on this album (my favorite cut is the beautiful “Green Summer Lawn,” though it’s not a particularly summer-y song), and “It’s Not Bothering Me” is a standout cut. I love singing along to it, and it has an intriguing lyric, so I guess it’s my cerebral summer song.
I’m sure I’ll think of more songs; maybe I’ll have enough to come up with a volume 2 of this list before summer’s over…
*Yes, I know Dakoda Motor Co. made three albums, but I don’t know anything about Railroad. Besides, Davia Vallesillo didn’t sing on it, so as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t really count.