Summer Playlist: Take A Break With 10 Songs to Kick Off The Sunshine
Mother Nature is finally rewarding us after a harsh winter with some sunshine and warm weather, and the city is bustling with people aching for summer. One of the best ways to spend a sunny day in New York City – or anywhere, for that matter – is to pop in your headphones and go on a nice long walk. And if you’re in need of some new tunes to add to your summer playlist, look no further. Here are some fresh and upbeat songs that will get you ready for the nice weather ahead. Tip: Log in to your Spotify, click the links below to listen and/or access the entire Summer playlist here.
01 The Heart
Yet another brand new track, “The Heart” is one of many off of Needtobreathe’s fifth album, Rivers in the Wasteland. Needtobreathe is a Christian rock band with a southern twang to their sound – a twang you can easily hear throughout the harmonies and foot-stomping in this track. “The Heart” is a guaranteed feel-good song, with lines like Can’t waste time when it comes time to dance making you smile – or dance – every time you hear them.
02 One Night Town
By Ingrid Michaelson ft. Mat Kearney
That’s right, another Ingrid Michaelson song on this playlist. Because her Lights Out album is just that good. “One Night Town” is fun and summery… and I could listen to Ingrid Michaelson and Mat Kearney sing together for the rest of my life and that would be okay. This song is about seizing the day and living it up. Enjoy.
03 Be Okay
By Oh Honey
Oh Honey is the second Brooklyn-based band on this list, and though they have only been around for about a year they have already made a splash in the music scene with their With Love EP. Listening to the bright and cheery sound of “Be Okay” you would think the song might fit into a Disney movie soundtrack – but is there really anything wrong with that? The chorus - Can’t complain about much these days, I believe we’ll be okay – is upbeat, optimistic, and a refreshing change from much of what is deemed as pop music in this day and age. And in case you were wondering, the rest of Oh Honey’s EP is just as good.
04 Let's Go
By Matt and Kim
This Brooklyn-based band is known for their catchy hooks, and “Let’s Go” is a great example. This track was the hit single off of Matt and Kim’s 2012 album, Lightning, so while this song is not new to the music scene, it should certainly be added to your summer playlist. Matt and Kim have mastered the mix of male and female vocals to produce one peppy, upbeat song after another. If you like “Let’s Go,” then definitely give their first hit single “Daylight” a listen as well.
05 Stay Out
By Nina Nesbitt
Nina Nesbitt is still a teenager but has managed to make a name for herself all the way from Scotland. This singer-songwriter released “Stay Out” in 2013, and when you listen to the song you will wish you were a teenager again. This is a perfect track for a summer night, for falling in love and staying out late.
06 All of the Stars
By Ed Sheeran
As if we needed any more reason to fawn over Ed Sheeran’s swooning voice and romantic acoustics, he has recently released “All of the Stars” to be a part of the soundtrack to The Fault in Our Stars. This song is slow and sentimental – completely appropriate for the movie’s plot line. Having read the book, I already am getting emotional just listening to his beautiful British voice perfectly narrate the teenage love story… which I’m guessing is the idea. But for anyone who has read the book or will see the movie, “All of the Stars” will be your love song of choice this summer. *At this time, this song is not available on Spotify.
By Donavon Frankenreiter
To get back to the more upbeat tracks, “Glow” will put a groove in your step this summer. Donavon Frankenreiter is a singer, a surfer, and a protégé of Jack Johnson – all of which combines to form a good-vibes sound in his 2010 song, “Glow.” The song was actually written by Matt Nathanson, but Frankenreiter uses his tropical, laidback style to make this the ultimate summer chill song.
08 Summer Wine
By Nancy Sinatra
“Summer Wine” has been covered by multiple artists since it was written over fifty years ago; most recently, Lana del Rey released a video for it last year. However the most famous version, with good reason, is the original one by Nancy Sinatra in 1967. Think Porgy and Bess’s classic “Summertime,” but a little more sassy. Nancy Sinatra’s saucy voice, along with the full orchestra sound carrying the song, makes “Summer Wine” a fun and unique addition to a summer playlist.
By Pharrell Williams
It would be wrong to make a playlist for this summer and NOT include Pharrell’s “Happy.” If you have been even mildly aware of pop culture in the last six months then you may be sick of this song, which was made for the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack last fall. “Happy” is simple, it’s soulful, it’s upbeat - and it really does put you in a good mood when you hear it. So whether you dance to it for 24 hours or hum along to it on your morning commute, here’s to feeling happy.
10 Girls Chase Boys
By Ingrid Michaelson
“Girls Chase Boys” was the first single released off of Ingrid’s Michaelson’s new album, Lights Out, this spring, and is probably most well-known for its gender-bending music video that successfully and playfully defies social stereotypes by spoofing Robert Palmer’s 1988 “Simply Irresistible” video. While “Girls Chase Boys” is technically a song about breakups, Michaelson manages to get an important message across while still making you bob your head along to her indie-pop beats.
Photo: Ed Sheeran