After what felt like an eternity, summer is finally just around the corner. For me, summer means a lot of things; it means swimming, mini golfing, vacation, trampolines, getting in shape, a lot of sweating, and many other things. But most importantly, it means I get to drive around with my windows down while listening to my favorite music. There’s just something about getting in a car by yourself and getting lost in the wind and the music. It gives me a sense of freedom and serenity like nothing else can. I enjoy just about every style of music, and I could come up with a seemingly endless list of songs for my summer playlist, but I decided to keep it to ten for now. The goal was to put a variety of different styles in this list to give you an idea about how wide my musical spectrum is, as well as hoping to expand your musical tastes and give some lesser-known artists some exposure. So, here are my top 10 songs for the summer of 2015!
1. Ride by twenty one pilots
Off of the recently released album, “Blurryface”, Ride has an uptempo feel that will compliment those summer drives perfectly. Perhaps the fact that the lyrics of the chorus reflect my feelings about ‘taking a ride’ also influences this decision. If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor a check out twenty one pilots. They’ve been on the rise for a few years now, and both “Blurryface” and their major label debut “Vessel” are albums you can listen to from beginning to end without skipping a song.
2. Playing Dead by Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!
This is a band that I have personally been in love with for a few years now. My first exposure to them came at Warped Tour 2012 when the band I was fronting at the time, The Park View, got to perform at the Pittsburgh stop of the tour. Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! performed after us, and they won me over with their energy and their charming French accents (which barely come across in their music at all). Since then I’ve been supporting them, and they always remind me of summer. Their fast-paced, energetic, fun songs always pump me up, whether it’s in the car or working out. Their third album, “Get Lost, Find Yourself”, recently released, and you can find Playing Dead as the opening track.
3. Can’t Deny My Love by Brandon Flowers
I like this song because it’s different than most music you’ll hear today. To me, it’s a real throwback to the 80s, but it’s also unique enough to stand on its own. For those who don’t know, Brandon Flowers is the vocalist of the band The Killers. I was unaware about his solo project until I saw him perform this song on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. Can’t Deny My Love immediately caught my attention with its unique style. While this one isn’t quite as uptempo as other songs on this list, I feel that it still fits well with summer and is a great song to cruise to.
4. Tears On the Runway, Pt. 1 (feat. Nylo) by Tyler Carter
One of my favorite (possibly my favorite) voices in all of music today is that of Tyler Carter. From the first time I heard him sing, it just did something for me. He has a style that fits all types of music, and he takes full advantage of that. He sings for the metalcore band Issues (who also has an amazing acoustic EP titled “Diamond Dreams”), and he recently released a solo album that has more of a pop, r&b vibe. As a matter of fact, as you see, this is part 1 of the song. Part 2 can be found on Issues self titled full length, and Tears On the Runway (without a part) can be found on the “Diamond Dreams” EP. I highly recommend you listen to all of them. It gives you a good sense about what all Tyler is capable of.
5. Cinderblock Garden by All Time Low
For close to ten years now, All Time Low has been one of my favorite bands. They wavered in their style for a short time, but, for the most part, they’ve stayed true to what brought them to the dance. Personally, I’ve enjoyed everything they’ve put out. Regardless of style or experimentation, I think they’ve been successful at everything they’ve tried. Their latest album, “Future Hearts”, generally sticks to their roots and is a great pop punk album. Cinderblock Garden has a catchy, uptempo chorus that makes it a great choice for those warm, sunny days.
6. Narrow Mouth by The Early November
When I was in high school, I listened to The Early November quite a bit. Then they went on a hiatus, and I was pretty disappointed. Luckily, it was just a hiatus and not a permanent breakup or retirement. The second album since their return, “Imbue” was released on May 12th and has been a big hit with me. I honestly feel like they’re better than ever at this point, and this is their best album to date. Narrow Mouth is the opening track and sets the tone for the album well. The opening guitar riff just makes me want to get in my car and drive, and the passionate vocals of Ace Enders encourage me to sing along with him.
7. Playing In Traffic by Broadside
If you’re looking for a new pop punk band to get into, look no further than Broadside. I didn’t know much of anything about them prior to the release of their new album “Old Bones”. A few weeks before it released, I saw something about them on social media, so I checked them out and fell in love. They’re not reinventing the wheel, but they definitely make sure their wheels take you on a smooth ride. The whole album is great, so picking one song was not easy. Honestly, this whole album could easily be part of your summer playlist. I settled on Playing In Traffic because it maintains an energetic pace throughout with an infectious chorus.
8. Stitches by Shawn Mendes
I’ve been following this kid since he started to breakthrough on Vine, and I had high hopes for his first full length. I was not let down. At 16 years old, Shawn is poised to take the music industry by storm. For those of you who don’t really know him, no, he’s not the next Justin Bieber. His style is quite different with most of his songs being very acoustic guitar driven. Stitches is a great summer, cruising song because of the pace of the song and Shawn’s smooth, soulful vocals. Trust me, give the kid a chance!
9. Baby’s In Love (feat. Kid Ink) by Jamie Foxx
Although I know he is widely recognized (mostly for acting), I feel like Jamie Foxx is an extremely underrated musical artist. Just check out his recent performance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon when he participated in the ‘Wheel of Musical Impressions’. He was able to show his raw talent in a way that I don’t think he gets to on a lot of his recorded songs. “Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses” was recently released, and has quite a few hits on it. When it comes to a summer playlist, I chose Baby’s In Love (feat. Kid Ink) because it makes you want to dance from the very first beat. The song never really slows down, so it’s a great choice for a fun driving song.
10. Midnight by……. yours truly 🙂
I know, I know. Shameless self promotion. However, this song always makes me personally think of summer. I originally wrote the song during summer based off of summer experiences. Pretty qualified, right? On top of that, while it’s not an extremely fast paced song, Midnight is fairly uptempo and is easy to cruise to. I worked really hard on this recording (along with all of the new ones I’m working on), and you can find it on iTunes and all other digital music stores as a single.
So, there you have it. My top 10 songs that should be on everyone’s summer 2015 playlist! Who knows, maybe I’ll even post 10 more in the near future! 😉