As colorful umbrellas fill the beaches, bottles of aloe fly off the shelves and global warming gets realer by the day, our music tastes shift. As the sounds of summer start to buzz, I find that we often need something more in the songs and bands we decide to listen to. We need that high-energy rock band to get us through the long road trips. We need a subtle reggae album to tap our foot to while reading on the beach.
Summer has always been my favorite season, and I’ve long tasked myself with finding the perfect seasonal music to accompany me as I venture through scorchers and thunderstorms, quiet beach days and lively barbeques. So, during these next few months, I’ll guide you through the best of the best of the music that defines every aspect of the summertime.
Each week I’ll add a few more tracks to the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page so it’s even easier for you to check out new music!
1) Beach Slang: "Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street"
This Philadelphia punk outfit has become a bit of an underground music darling. I have never heard a band capture the adventurous spirit of teenage unrest quite like Beach Slang. James Alex delivers the trio’s delightful lyricism with brash vocals and absolutely dirty guitar riffs. The group’s two EPs shine with raw and unashamed arrangements aimed at discussing the rambunctious beauty of screw-ups and late nights. Learn these lyrics for sing-alongs and the limited discography for those secret heartfelt playlists you make after a fun night with your best friends. Where to start: “American Girls and French Kisses”----- 2) Fireworks: “Gospel” “Gospel,” by the energetic pop-punk group Fireworks, dazzles listeners with its blistering energy and pop tendencies. “I Locked My Time Capsule” is a classic pop-punk track with superb drum work, while “Teeth” dials it down for a romantic number. This vivacious record cloaks a strange brand of almost unwilling optimism with carefully crafted keyboard sections and invigorating guitar riffs. It gushes with love for friendship and freedom in just the right moments, yet still feels anything but shallow. If you were a previous fan of guitar-based pop music or want an easy intro into the realm of modern pop-punk, “Gospel” is the way to go. _Where to start_: “I Locked My Time Capsule” ----- 3) The Front Bottoms: “Talon of the Hawk” Folk and punk may not seem like two genres that mesh well together, but New Jersey’s two-piece favorite The Front Bottoms has perfected this delectable blend. Pleasantly upbeat acoustic guitars and the occasional sprightly tambourine create a simplistic backbone for Brian Sella’s more unique vocal sound. The duo’s sophomore album, “Talon of the Hawk,” features the hook-laden gem “Skeleton” and the witty catharsis of “Twin Size Mattress.” Spin this record for a unique sampling of angst and quirky Jersey punk. _Where to start_: “Skeleton” ----- 4) Wavves: “King of the Beach” “King of the Beach” is perhaps the most obvious choice for this summertime assortment. The ambitious surfer pop is meant for days necessitating fruity drinks with colorful umbrellas and SPF 100. It’s a fast tempo piece of work with lyrics about really nothing at all aside from sunshine and warm July breezes. A variety of instruments illustrate Californian-slacker vibes, especially in the bouncy title track. _Where to start_: “King of the Beach” ----- 5) The Beastie Boys: “Solid Gold Hits” This greatest hits compilation is an excellent way to introduce yourself to the “triple trouble” of NYC. The oil-slicked rhymes and unabashed party attitude showcase only some of the Beasties’ best efforts. While your obvious first stop might be “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn,” I urge you to look a bit further to the remixed version of “Body Movin’” and the guitar-centered “Sure Shot.” These hip-hop tracks will get any party bumping in no time and educate you on one of the most influential musical trios of all time. _Where to start_: “Intergalactic”