What is the key ingredient when attempting to make THE MOST AMAZING summer playlist? After much brainstorming, we have decided it is all about the perfect combination of past and present. Throwbacks make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside (that might just be the alcohol) and there is no better feeling than hearing a new song come on that hasn’t been overplayed yet. Whether you are trying to get through a Friday work day or on a road trip to visit friends, a great playlist is crucial for survival. In order to assist you all in your music mixing, we had our music writers AND the new batch of BYT interns compile a list of THE BEST summer throwbacks and their predictions for the top songs of summer 2k13.
- Alana Wise:
- Marie Formica:
One of my favorite songs of summer is Eels – “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues.” It’s catchy as hell, deliciously 90s bass buzzy, well-layered and it garners great repeat value. My real favorite part about it is that even if it is deathly hot outside with a 100% chance of sunburn and a mad swarm of blood sucking insects, the chorus somewhat forcefully reframes your perspective on what kind of day it is outside. Spoiler: It’s a beautiful one.
- Rohan Mahadevan:
One of my favorite summer songs is Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone.” When that track dropped it was a game changer for both Clarkson, and music snobs. I had always loved pop music, it might be something about being gay, but most of my friends didn’t like pop. When “Since U Been Gone” was released music snobs started talking about pop the way they would talk about Pavement. It is one of those songs everyone knows, and it never gets old.
- Olivia Owens:
My ALL TIME favorite summer song has to go to “Summer Girls” by LFO. It is on every single summer road trip playlist I have ever made. When that song comes on you have put down the windows, crank up the volume and belt out all the words (because you better know all the words).
- Bryce Rudow:
Sublime – “Scarlet Begonias“
Call me cliché but on a warm summer day, nothing beats Sublime’s 40oz to Freedom (RIP Brad Nowell). Ever since I was 14, I associated the Long Beach band’s reggae-leaning alternative rock with the summer months, and one of the best tracks on 40oz is their cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Scarlet Begonias“. With heavy sampling from James Brown’s “Funky Drummer“, this summer-lovin’ song begs to be danced and sung along to with friends that you’re fine making an ass of yourself in front of. And isn’t that what summer is all about?
- Ross Bonaime:
For my all time favorite summer song, I’m just going to scratch The Beach Boys off, because any list of great summer songs should have them as #1-10. It might seem like a cheat since the song even has the word “summer” in it, but I always love rolling down the windows and driving to Animal Collective’s “Summertime Clothes” during the summer. I listen to this song pretty regularly throughout the year, but over the summer especially.
It doesn’t hurt that the song starts with crashing waves and the sound of excited kids playing in them, or that’s probably Animal Collective’s most accessible song, but to me “Summertime Clothes” reminds me of going on a beach vacation and that exact moment you arrive at your destination. It sort of encapsulates that excitement of three months of nothing but opportunities.
- Jeb Gavin:
Song of EVERY summer? LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends.” I suppose this requires a bit of explanation. Simply put, there is this feeling you get, should you happen to be driving home after being out all night – that five to six in the morning ride just as the sun comes up, and even more so than during pregaming, you feel free and alive and excuse all run-on sentences. That’s the exact time for this song. Crank it up, roll the windows down and smell the youth.
- Andy Johnson:
I don’t think you can really do much better than Nelly’s “Hot In Here.” To this very day, I mark out during the “I Think my butt getting big” section. Such a great song.
- John Foster:
So hard to choose something in the ultimate category, and so many summers to consider at this point. Summer always sounds like kids playing go go on paint buckets to me. THAT is the sound of summer in the city, but we must pick a song… Things like Renegade Soundwave’s “Biting My Nails” instantly remind me of sweating through so many DC nights (and mornings) at the Roxy and Tracks and various warehouse parties home from college. De La Soul’s entire “3 Feet High and Rising” album always gets more than it’s fair share of summer spins. New Order blared at every dance club and rave and party that seemed to matter for a decade of summers and Big Youth always brings the rub-a-dub to my sunshine and Pavement’s “Summer Babe” hopefully skates in on someone’s list here but the song that feels like summer all year round to me now is The Drums “Let’s Go Surfing.” Dammit if that whistling and driving bass and echo’d vocal doesn’t just bring out the smell of the ocean and the feel of wrapping your arms around a new waist and finding sand in your shoes (and other places) and then they sing “Oh mama, I want to go surfing. Oh mama, I don’t care about nothing.” and it says EVERYTHING you will ever need to know about summer.
- Steven Place:
Composed in the summer of 1875, NOTHING goes harder than Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 5.” I just want to play beer pong on a roof with Big Gulp cups filled with Zima when I hear this track. Czech it out!
I am going to go with the Ronettes and “BE MY BABY”. Because a perfect pop song that lasts just under 3 minutes can never be under-estimated and because every summer SHOULD BE a “Dirty Dancing” summer.
Also, because when I was a kid I saw this Levi’s road-trip/road-trouble desert ad featuring that song and it is still one of the greatest ads I’ve ever seen, and you all should rewatch it right now:
- Phil Chevalier:
Beach Boys – “I’m Waiting for the Day”
Sure, there are songs from Pet Sounds that actually have something to do with Summer. While “I’m Waiting for the Day” isn’t one of them, it’s definitely a summer song for two distinct reasons: 1) It was written by the Beach Boys, and 2) ibid. I pick this song not because it’s that Beach Boys song you might not have heard, but because it’s my favorite song on the most interesting album by the summer band of all summer bands – and because I have a thing for really good ex-girlfriend tracks. Also, Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Brian Wilson.
Future Songs of Summer 2k13
The song for this summer is hands down Body Party by Ciara. I, too, had written her off during that whole Ride period/fiasco, but here again, trying to gain my trust. I’m going to let you in, Ci. Don’t hurt me again.
I’m not going to pretend I know what the song of the summer is. It’s probably something that hasn’t debuted yet. Or it will be “Get Lucky.” Whatever. That said, I’ll take a blind stab at something already being radioplayed into the ground: Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX – “I Love It.” It’s got a sizzling backtrack and electro-hooks your ear up into its frequency. It already has a bunch of weird remixes and it’s lyrically aggressive, proclaiming one of the main themes of summer: “I don’t care; I love it.”
I don’t have a real song of the summer, so I’ll just throw out a track I’m in love with, the new Fuck Buttons single “The Red Wing.” All that is available is the “radio edit” whatever that means, as they would never play Fuck Buttons on the radio, but the track just kills. This is the first Fuck Buttons song that drops immediately. The edit, taken from the middle of the track, has all the highs, but the album version is the one to look out for. The hit-hats, bells and punishing synth line make for perfect driving music. Following the trend from two years ago, the track has some sax, but it is the most menacing sax you’ll hear all year.
I am an extreme Justin Timberlake groupie going back to the days of N’Sync and I am pre-teen girl obsessed with his new album. I’m hoping the next song that will be on the radio is “Pusher Love Girl.” It definitely has the potential to be the hit of the summer (and that is my completely biased opinion). If it’s not Pusher Love Girl, then it has to be another one on this album of absolute perfection.
Look, you people can have your Vampire Weekend. In fact, a few of you deserve your Vampire Weekend to go with the sudden queasy proliferation of pink shorts and oxfords on 14th street. But that shit doesn’t matter this summer and it barely mattered in the summer of 1985. I don’t begrudge you your Daft Punk. Everyone likes to shake a little ass, but the ONLY BAND THAT MATTERS this summer is led by an Aussie stuck in NYC who blends Pavement fuzz and Lemonheads charm with Real Estate jangle to wrap around his matter of fact confessional funny as shit storytelling. The record doesn’t come out until late July, but you won’t need to bother listening to anything else for the hot months to follow. All Scott and Charlene’s Wedding. All of the time. Your new favorite songs are going to have titles like Lesbian Wife, 1993, Gammy Leg and this first burner they have teased us with – “Fakin’ NYC.”
I’ve already gone on record saying that with their first single, “Dreaming“, the Los Angeles quartet of Smallpools was “poised to reach for the golden ring of THE SUMMER JAM.” Traction is starting to pick up for the Passion Pit-esque synth-poppers, as West Coast radio stations have fully incorporated them into their playlists, and I don’t see this momentum dying anytime soon. I’ve already “put my money on this song being inescapable come July 4thweekend,” but their invasion into our eardrums might be coming even sooner than that.
I doubt I can predict what will undoubtedly be the song of the summer, the next “Call Me Maybe” or “Pumped Up Kicks,” since I’m the type of guy who rarely listens to the radio, but when I do, is still surprised as hell when Phoenix comes on. What would I personally like to see become a gigantic hit this summer? Maybe “Get Lucky” or “Diane Young,” but despite selling several hundred thousand copies of their albums in the opening week, I doubt they’ll gain that type of popularity. Frankly, I just don’t want it to be something from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
So what song from 2013 most reminds me of summer? Well I’ll immediately cancel out all of “Modern Vampires of the City,” since that’s clearly album of the summer. But leading up to these summer months, the song that’s made me most anticipate this time of year is by far Generationals’ “Put a Light On.”
It’s such a light, floaty, fun song that encompasses the lazy summer day, hanging out on the beach or just hanging out all day. I doubt that we’ll ever hear Generationals on the radio (which is a crime), but with songs as great and mood setting as “Put a Light On,” we should be.
DJ Dan and Charles Feelgood’s “Funky Mood.” Hands sound the sound I want to hear bangin’ out of everyone’s speakers between now and Labor Day. Get on this, America, and listen to some good music while you’re young and haven’t killed off all the tiny hairs in your ears.
I recently attended my best friend’s wedding, and the dance floor was barren until the DJ inevitably played “Get Lucky,” making it the song of the summer by default. While I’m a fan of Random Access Memories, I’ll admit it doesn’t have the same instant party appeal that makes Discovery such a beloved album. Nevertheless, my current favorite Summer album comes from another European duo: UK babyfaces Disclosure.
The Lawrence brothers are being praised as the next big thing in dance music (and rightfully so) for successfully merging the wonkiness of UK garage with a tactful array of hip vocalists including Aluna Francis, Jessie Ware and Friendly Fires’ Ed Macfarlane. However, my favorite track on their debut is the raucous opener, “When A Fire Starts To Burn,” which reminds me of the old thrashers from Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers: “Breathe” and “Block Rockin’ Beats.”
This remix is an obvious pick because A$AP Ferg will close out the summer season by headlining Trillectro, DC’s music festival. I guarantee when he drops this, seas will part, babies will be conceived and Congress will try to ban something.
Since the song of my last summer (Icona Pop’s I LOVE IT) is apparently going to be the song of this summer for most others, I am split between these two: 1. CROWN ON THE GROUND by Sleigh Bells, which while it is NOT a new song per se, is bound to get that necessary bratty perk as THE song in The Bling Ring:
or Mikal Cronin’s WEIGHT, which is a perfect roll-your-windows-down-and-go-on-a-summer-road-trip non-banger:
Ace Hood – “Bugatti“
Because I’m a realist.
And there you have it, straight from the minds of some of the most [un]qualified people. Happy playlist making. You’re welcome.