It’s been a lackluster past couple of week for new music, so let’s revisit some tried-and-true tunes. Whether you’re sweating outside or sweating indoors, a good soundtrack will make or break your summer. Here’s a little mixtape to get you through the solar flares. — Eric
1) “Bang Pop” – Free Energy
Once upon a time, everyone dressed like Hyde from “That 70’s Show,” drank Tab and stood outside of convenience stores all day, because Jimmy Carter was president and there was a national malaise or something. Also, Matthew McConaughey was there. This song is one of the gems off of Free Energy’s 2010 album “Stuck On Nothing,” and its laid back, classic rock sound makes for good times.
2) “Hawaiian Air” – Friendly Fires
Flying to an exotic locale? Congratulations on the disposable income. Give this one a spin while you’re rocketing through the sky in a giant metal tube; give it another go after you’re five bahama mamas deep and wondering how to get back to the tiki bar.
3) “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” – Missy Elliot
Confidential sources reported that Misdemeanor would be releasing a new album in June. So, 8 days ago. While coping with that betrayal, take a time machine back to 1997 for this track. Any summer mix needs a song that sounds like being melted onto a sidewalk. Bonus: This one has a video where Missy Elliot wears a giant trash bag suit.
4) “Sun (Acoustic)” – Mae
The band split up last year, but a little Mae still goes a long way. If I’m embarking on a solo roadtrip, I do not leave home without this song on my iPod. Is a woefully unedgy guitar jam from a vaguely Christian emo band the best soundtrack for deep thoughts on the open road?
That’s rhetorical, of course.
5) “Substitution” – Silversun Pickups
The record already shows that no summer is complete without some Silversun Pickups. “Substitution” is notable for being one of the few SSPU songs that doesn’t make you afraid someone with a knife is about to jump out of an alley and murder you. You know how extremely high temperatures cause those wavy light refractions on top of asphalt? This song sounds like that looks (in other words, imminent heat stroke).
6) “High of 75” – Relient K
Stop being cynical, and start being 15 years old.
7) “She Doesn’t Get It” – The Format
Are you tired of hearing “We Are Young” on the radio? Of course you are, because you are capable of perceiving sound. Though we love fun., revisit this little slice of magic from Nate Ruess’ old band, The Format. Start your day with it; never be sad again.
8) “19th Nervous Breakdown” – The Rolling Stones
Keys to summer success:
1) Live every day with the confidence of Mick Jagger.
2) Listen to lots of sexy guitar licks.
3) Do not wear tight pants.
9) “The Sun Doesn’t Like You” – Norah Jones
Norah Jones is this blog’s unofficial girlfriend, and with good reason. There’s a Norah number for every occasion. Most of the occasions involve Starbucks in some way. This song, though, is melancholy, bluesy and pairs perfectly with a July sunset.
10) “Rill Rill” – Sleigh Bells
If Norah is our unofficial girlfriend, then Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss is the girl at the swimming pool that we’re afraid to talk to, because she probably sells drugs and she’s definitely been shoplifting sunglasses from the kiosk at the mall. But on the strength of this dreamy, sinister winner, we’re willing to take our chances.
11) “Ocean Avenue” – Yellowcard
This is non-negotiable.
Download the full playlist on Spotify here.