Making the perfect playlist is as essential to an awesome summer as answering the question of whether to rock aviators or Wayfarers. While it may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things, the music that defines a summer will remind you exactly what went down for those few idyllic months, whether you were kissing the hot lifeguard or eating Cheez-Its like they were about to be discontinued forever.
The ultimate summer playlist is the soundtrack to all the things that make up the experience, from the mundane to the fantastic. It obviously reflects your musical tastes, but it also reminds you of your friends, ambitions, and the way you felt about the world at that point. Everyone’s playlist is different, but the best have a few things in common. For a well-curated soundtrack to your summer, try the formula below.
- 2-3 songs should be of the summer-hit variety. They should be on the radio playing in an endless loop, which you won’t mind, because the biggest decision you have to make that day is between cookie dough and rocky road when you buy ice cream. These are the songs you’ll know word for word ten years from now.
- 1 song that is your secret seductive weapon. It is inevitable that you’ll find someone attractive over the summer, and this song is the song you will envision yourself furiously making out to. It’s very important.
- 3-4 songs should have an easy breezy, driving-down-a-California-coastal-highway vibe. These songs are sunny, and the musical equivalent of your favorite t-shirt. Maybe the lyrics are a little moody, but the tracks should be upbeat overall.
- 2 songs all about love. Positive tracks only, as putting songs about heartbreak and rejection on your mix equals bad juju.
- 3 songs with attitude. The kind that you’d play before getting ready for a night out. These should get you psyched up and anticipating good things, as well as put you in a festive mood.
- 1-2 songs that get you dancing like a loon. Ideally a no-holds-barred dance-a-thon should occur when these songs come on, with lots of excess head shaking and pelvic thrusting.
- 2 slightly embarrassing songs that everyone knows by heart and can belt at the top of their lungs. Think 80’s/90’s pop for high effect.
- Your absolute favorite song, the one that’s been on endless repeat for the past month.
Remember, the order of your songs is just as important as the actual music. Be sure to take the time to organize your playlist so it flows well.
Take a crack at playing aural alchemy, and if you want to go the slightly lazy route, have a look at my playlist below.
1. One Direction – One Thing
2. Best Coast – The Only Place
3. Train – Drive By
4. Andy Grammer – It’s Fine By Me
5. The Beat Advocate – Type of Stereo (Seriously great, download the entire EP)
6. Britney Spears – Baby One More Time
7. Kylie Minogue – Time Bomb
8. Gym Class Heroes – Clothes Off
9. 3OH!3 – Set You Free
10. Razorlight – North London Trash
11. Jessie J – Sexy Silk
12. Katie Herzig – Lost and Found
13. Zach Heckendorf – All the Right Places (Huge name drop: I went to high school with this kid and am acquaintances with him. By acquaintances, I of course mean he was one of the really popular kids and I kind of creepily stared at him in class. That being said, he’s really, crazy good and the entire album is actually a great soundtrack to summer in and of itself.)
14.Santana ft. Rob Thomas – Smooth
15.Holiday Parade – Getaway
16. Matt Nathanson – Faster
Your Sparkitors need summer music suggestions! What songs do you love right now?
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