I had a lot of fun making a playlist for the last Music Monday, so I want to try it again. This time, in celebration of the Memorial Day weekend, I want to focus on Summer Songs. And I’m not referring to how people will label certain pop songs “the song of the summer”, I’m talking about songs that feel explicitly summery (although there can be overlap, depending on the song I guess, although I don’t include any of that overlap here). I have no idea if other people think of songs as “Summer Songs”, but I definitely do. And for whatever reason, none of the other seasons get that sort of label in my head.
My most basic definition has been a sort of tautological “songs that sound good during summer”, something you would listen to sitting by the pool, or driving around with the windows down on a hot day, or just enjoying warm evenings.
I’ve just tried reverse engineer what qualities make me think that, but there hasn’t been any one factor that’s consistent among them.* There have been a few qualities I’ve noticed though, including things like strong basslines; a light and almost airy feel (although not all are explicitly; explicit references to summer, heat, relaxing/wasting time, and youth; high synth or guitar parts, mostly as rhythm instruments but sometimes with lead riffs; and big, easy-to-sing-along-to choruses as well as frequent use of non-words (like “ohs”, for example) to the same end.
*Other than “I have memories of listening to them over the summer”, but that’s a big chicken-and-egg question. Did I listen to them over the summer because I thought they sounded summery? Or did I decide they sounded summery because I remember listening to them over the summer? Not all of them came out during the summer, for what it’s worth, so I think that leads me to think it’s the first, but I can’t be sure either way.
Now that I got that way-too-academic breakdown, here’s the playlist: