There’s something magical about summertime, isn’t there? Whether it’s the happy memory of being a kid and not having to go to school for two months, the warmer weather, or the promise of getting away from it all with a relaxing vacation, summer is a season that holds a special place in the hearts of most people. Because of the dreamy, nostalgic feeling summer inspires, a lot of music has been written about this season. To help you get in the summertime spirit, I’ve put together some summer-inspired playlists, containing songs about summer and songs with that unmistakable summer feel, for every occasion.
1 Songs for Jogging on the Shore
Anna Sun by Walk the Moon – This 2012 pop song is uplifting, catchy, and features a danceable (or joggable!) beat. Everything a summer workout song should be!
Catch the Sun by Doves – This wisftful and uptempo track from British rock band Doves always puts me in a sunny mood.
Young Blood by The Naked and Famous – Indie newcomers The Naked and Famous’s 2011 hit perfectly captures the essence of being young and carefree in the summer.
All Summer by Kid Cudi (ft. Vampire Weekend and Best Coast) – This genre-bending song is as sweet and refreshing as an orange-sicle fresh from the ice cream truck.
Synthetica by Metric – An up-tempo track from Canadian alt. rockers, Metric, Synthetica is one of the best songs from their summer 2012 album of the same name.
Good Feeling by Flo Rida – This and other upbeat party songs from Flo Rida’s latest album are sure to be in heavy rotation in workout music playlists this summer.
We Own the Sky by M83 – This song has a dreamy, epic feel that’s sure to inspire you and make you reflect on your life (or at least your summer) during a leisurely morning beach run.
2 Songs for Lounging at the Pool
Feel It All Around by Washed Out – The genre of this song/artist has been described as “chill-wave.” Can you think of a more perfect type of music for laying out at the pool or beach?
Myth by Beach House – Dream pop duo Beach House serve up this and other dreamy, summery tracks on their summer 2012 album, Bloom.
Island in the Sun by Weezer – Here’s an alt-rock classic that will make you feel like you’re sipping Mai Tais in the Caribbean … even if you’re just guzzling Mike’s Hard at your apartment complex’s pool.
Deadbeat Summer by Neon Indian – Though it’s not a real word, I would describe this quirky song as highly “chillaxing.”
Stir it Up by Bob Marley – A reggae classic that’s sure to stir a little extra sunshine into your mix.
It’s Summertime by The Flaming Lips – A dreamy, sunny ditty from long-time staples of the alternative scene, The Flaming Lips.
Go Outside by Cults – If this catchy, happy, indie pop song doesn’t inspire you to go outside and get some vitamin D, I’m not sure that anything will.
3 Songs for a Beach Party
Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Evoke everyone’s ‘90s nostalgia with this classic rap song.
Summer Love by Justin Timberlake – If there was still such a thing as the MTV Beach House, they would probably still be playing this insanely catchy 2007 song.
Summertime by Sublime – Everyone knows the words to this one, so get ready for a drunken sing-a-long!
Don’t Move by Phantogram – Trip-pop duo Phantogram combine hip-hop beats and soft, echoey vocals to create shimmery, summery masterpieces like this 2011 song.
Take a Walk by Passion Pit – This dazzling, anthem-like song from electropop group Passion Pit might just be the song of summer 2012.
Dear Summer by Jay Z – This is the kind of laid-back hip-hop track that seems custom-made for maxing and relaxing with your best friends.
Disparate Youth by Santigold – Here’s another unforgettable summer 2012 song that demands to be played at top-volume.
Something Good Can Work by Two Door Cinema Club – This shuffling, effervescent song came out a few summers ago … but it is still stuck in my head!
Beach Party by Hot Chip – ‘Nuff said.
4 Songs for Reminiscing About Your Summer Crush
The Boys of Summer by Don Henley – Even if you weren’t alive in 1984 to witness this song reach the top of the charts, you probably still know most of the words to this yearning summer classic.
Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams – Fact: This is the only good song by Bryan Adams.
Summer Feeling by Best Coast – Although this song is especially good and has the word “summer” right in the title, pretty much every song by the surf pop group Best Coast is perfect for ruminating about summer love.
The Summer by Coconut Records – Another fact (this one more serious): Coconut Records is the indie music project of actor Jason Schwartzman.
California by Delta Spirit – Heartbreak has never sounded so dreamy as it does on this shimmering 2012 track from San Diego’s Delta Spirit.
Gold in the Air of Summer by Kings of Convenience – Sort of the Simon and Garfunkel of our times, Norwegian troubadours Kings of Convenience excel at making delicate, acoustic tunes like this one.
Daydream by Youth Lagoon – Atmospheric and electronic elements come together to make this song the perfect solitary summertime escape.