The Ultimate Summer Sendoff Playlist

Perfect for drives along the coast or lounging by the pool with friends, this summer playlist will put you straight into summer-mode.

As the semester comes to an end and the weight on your shoulders is finally lifted, the summer relaxation begins. Whether your plans include traveling, working, or visiting family, summer is a time to let your hair down and enjoy the sun while the air is warm.

Each year, a summer playlist makes its way into my music library and it’s ends up being the only thing I listen to for my three month break. When I think of “summer” music, I immediately think of upbeat, feel-good alternative songs with catchy guitar lines and lyrics you can shout in the car.

This year, I worked hard to deliver the best summer playlist for anyone who loves alternative, pop, and indie music. Featuring the newest hits from some fan-favorites and a few older tunes that remains classics, this playlist is perfect for beach days, road trips, and everything in-between.

A few of my favorites include:

Talk Too Much – COIN

After hitting no. 8 on the Alternative Songs chart, it is clear that this COIN song fits the “care-free summertime sound” that we are all looking for. They are a rock band making guitar-driven music and they have hit the mark on this hit track.

Tired Eyes – Besphrenz

Besphrenz is a unique group that you’ll be surprised hasn’t blown up yet. With their original style mixing indie, rock, and rap, this band is hitting multiple styles at once, but still keeping it clean. I respect them for being innovative musicians and I’m sure that this song will stay on repeat all summer long. The playlist also features Walking On Ice and their newest single, White Shoes.

Heat of the Summer – Young the Giant

Young the Giant has been a fan-favorite in the Alternative Music world for some time now, and with “Summer” being in the songs title, it surely fits the playlists theme. The song opens with a distorted guitar line and features a catchy chorus you’ll find yourself humming to all day. Young the Giant has done an excellent job in creating new music while sticking to their original sound that everyone loves.

This Life – Vampire Weekend

Released earlier this month, it is clear this song is different from the traditional Vampire Weekend sound. The song is lighthearted, bright, and bouncy, and has even been mentioned it closely matches Van Morrisons “Brown Eyed Girl.”

Hollow Life – Coast Modern

Imagine if Cage the Elephant, Grouplove, and Glass Animals teamed up on a track: this is what it’d sound like. This song was released a few years back, but the chorus is fresh, creative, and exactly what you need to hear all summer long.

Gold Snafu – Sticky Fingers

From the memorable beat and easy-to-follow chorus line, this song is easily enjoyed by any audience. Lead singer, Dylan Frost, delivers unique vocals falling under the reggae/rock genre, and its clear this song needs to be played full volume with the windows down. The playlist also includes one of their more mellow songs, These Girls.

Weekend Friend – Goth Babe

While “Goth” might be in the name, this musician producing anything but gothic music. Classified as surf-indie-rock, Weekend Friend is a care-free summer tune with soaring production. Greeting listeners with a heartwarming combination of keys, drums, and shakes, this song is easy on the ears in just about any setting.

No Going Back – Yuno

From the first drum-kick, this song shines light straight into my heart. After my first listen a few months back, I had the sudden urge to drop everything, go on a road trip, and make a video that highlights this wonderful track. With a weightless melody and vibrant lyrics, it is no wonder this was Yuno’s first single after signing with Sub Pop Records.

Some other favorites from the playlist include songs from boy pablo, LANY, Bad Suns, HUNNY, Local Natives, Empire of the Sun, Still Woozy, Toro y Moi, and many more. Hoping these songs are enough to brighten your mood all summer long! Now, go enjoy the sunshine.

Written by: Brittany Roache

Brittany Roache and the Art of Making Playlists

By simply creating playlists, you open yourself up to the exploration, beauty, & the truth behind musical identities, just by categorizing music.

Whether we realize it or not, we as humans naturally attach a specific feeling or emotion to every song we listen to. While everyone’s interpretation may be different, most of us would agree that we subconsciously associate different genres to certain personalities. When we find a new song that we enjoy, it might seem as if we’ll never get enough of it. For me personally, even if I hear a song that blows me away, I am still craving more. We constantly desire new stimulus, and the moment I find a new sound to obsess over, I start to search for more. This is where playlists come in and change the “music-searching” game entirely.

With the advances of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, finding new music is as easy as ever. While users can easily find “suggested songs” playlists from their favorite artists, I wanted to highlight the beauty behind making playlists and listening to mixtapes and playlists that were made with passion.

In the summer of 2017, I joined my family in upstate New York for fourth months, working two jobs and spending time in a small town in which I had never lived before. Since I spent most of my days alone, SoundCloud became my sanctuary. The concept of organizing music into niche categories was fascinating to me, and making playlists every week turned into my own form of self-expression. I wasn’t necessarily making them for anyone but myself, but I hoped that maybe someone would appreciate a group of songs the same way I did. When I find a song I deeply connect with, I find it nearly impossible to keep it to myself – sharing music with others allows me to enjoy the song fully. This was the same summer that I decided to join KCR. I thought that if I could combine my love for playlist making with my passion for sharing music, I might find a bigger sense of belonging on this campus. Now, with this being my fourth semester in KCR, I can confirm that this passion has not fizzled.

Most of my playlists are created after I’ve found one song that I refuse to take off repeat.

I try to pay attention to a specific feeling that I gain from listening to that song, and then find others that parallel that feeling. Some of my favorite playlists that I’ve made over the years can be found on my Soundcloud, like “Lets go watch the stars together,” a playlist I created one summer night after listening to soft beats that reminded me of star gazing with someone special. Others include “Ode to Porter,” which I made in tribute to Porter Robinson’s unique sound, and “Gooey,” a selection of electronica songs that make me smile and my insides feel “gooey,” so-to-speak. I have recently begun to make the switch over to Spotfiy, where I’ve made playlists like “Aquarius,” featuring my favorite indie songs of the season that make me feel like sunshine.

While I have been wanting to talk about the beauty and emotion that goes into making playlists for some time now, I was inspired after listening to KCR member and music history student, Lucy Rosenthal, talk on the air about musical identities. The focus of her show that week was to discuss how music defines our identity and how we associate a certain personality type with the music we listen to. Whether we want to agree or not, if we think about Rap, Country, Pop, Alternative, and so-on, we subconsciously associate a certain stereotype with who listens to that genre. The songs that we have grown up listening to have shaped our identity, and what we listen to now validates the type of person we want to be. For instance, there are many of us that get excited when we find a new song that is underground and unique because it confirms our own identity and makes us feel unique as well. This all ties back into the fact that music is a part of our culture, and cultures will always be connected to stereotypes in some way. This ties into the method behind making playlists because many of us identify with multiple genres of music and have a different style that is appropriate for different moods. The music I listen to when I’m sad is not the same music I play in the car with my friends, and this is because we are made up of many different attitudes. (Check out Lucy’s radio show every Monday from 11am-12pm for more stimulating talks like this!)

Music has the power to heal and inspire, and that is something special to talk about. I encourage everyone to make a playlist of your favorite songs and see how it makes you feel. While most of this may seem like common sense, I enjoy dissecting the concept and believe that making playlists can be used as a form of self expression.

Written by: Brittany Roache