I always hate when people try to predict what the jams of the summer are going to be at the beginning of the summer. So instead of predicting at the beginning of the summer what I will listen to, I’ve decided to reflect back on what I listened to most this summer.
What makes a summer song? In my opinion, it needs to be driveable. If you cannot jam to it in the car, its not worthy of summer. It either needs to motivate you, exercise emotions you need to let out so you can be more fun, pump you up for , or just be something light to dance to.
Here were my top 10 listens, no particular order:
1. Bad Liar- Selena Gomez
I’ll be honest, When I first heard the verses it was hard for me to get into. But just like everything else that Selena Gomez puts out, I ended up ultimately loving it. That chorus! Its what got me. I love the fun beat, the repetitiveness of the lyrics. Its just a cutesy song thats fun to blast in the car or dance around the house in. This definitely played on my phone a lot this summer, especially in July.
2. Most Girls- Hailee Steinfeld
I’ve never really given Hailee Steinfeld a second thought. I know that she was an actress in some big movie, that she’s friends with Taylor Swift, and that she started recording music. But something about this song hit me. This song was my go-to for getting ready for anything. Its a great song for building your confidence, which is most beneficial when you’re trying to look good. The video was a little problematic, in my opinion, since she talks about “most girls” and only has thin and conventionally pretty girls in it, but whatever. We know anyone who is friends with Taylor Swift probably isn’t going to have the most intersectional brand of feminism. At least the song is fun.
So, like I said above, a rule about summer songs is that they have to be driveable. Well, the first time I heard this song I listened to it on repeat for an hour when I drove to a work meeting out of town. I had a rough summer, so it was nice to have relatable lyrics but the upbeat sound of this song kept my mood up. I love this new sound that Paramore has come up with. I’ve been a fan of them for like 12 years or something now, so its great watching musicians grow and develop. And its always fun rocking out to them to ease whatever weird combination of happy and unfortunate that you feel!
4. Wasting All These Tears- Caitlyn Smith
Cassadee Pope, some contestant from The Voice has a recorded version of this. But Caitlyn Smith’s original version is a lot more raw and emotional. Caitlyn Smith has written a bunch of music for the show Nashville, and is generally an amazing person. I’m not a big country fan, but like I said earlier- I had a rough summer, and this was a go to when I needed to get some emotions out. Plus, as a former harmony singer, this is a really fun song to sing harmonies to.
5. My Heart Breaking- Alex Masters
I discovered Alex Masters like a million years ago through following her husband’s photography work. I signed up for a “12 in 12” thing that she did, where you could download a song she released each month. This was the very last one, and probably my favorite of them all. You see, I really like sad music. This song really spoke to my heart when I became a victim of domestic violence and had to abruptly end my engagement and cancel my wedding (I told you I had a rough summer). I listened to this one in the car on repeat for the three hour drive home to my mom and sobbed the entire time. This song will always hold a special place in my heart for that, and when I’ve been sad about my circumstances I have gone to this song to help release those emotions.
6. Roman Holiday- Halsey
So I’m in the process of planning a trip to Italy to wrap up my summer, and this is the song I’ve been blasting while exploring my destination on Pinterest. This song is one of the more upbeat sounding songs on Halsey’s first album Badlands. But I feel wanderlust when I hear this song, and what better to describe summer than carefree and wanderlustful? It also makes good night driving music, and like I said earlier- summer songs need to be good to drive to.
7. XO- John Mayer
This song is John Mayer’s cover of Beyonce’s song. I love me some Beyoncé, but this specific version of the song is a summer song. The acoustic guitar makes me feel like I’m around a campfire, like one of your buddies is burning up some old schoolwork or some dead tree they just lumberjacked down and then whipped out their guitar to impress some girl. You roll your eyes because Bon Fire John Mayer is kind of a douche, but you just enjoy the beautiful music and make sure you don’t fall in love with his voice, too. Also, this song has a special place in my heart. It was going to be my first dance song at my wedding that I cancelled. Womp womp. I promise, this wasn’t a moping song, just used as a reminder that beautiful things are out there (even if they’re a little douchey too).
8. Dreams- Fleetwood Mac
Okay, first, this song is a classic jam. It sounds like wind in your hair while you’re driving like 30 mph with the windows down at dusk. I know, specific, but I know you can envision it. Second, I’m seeing Stevie Nicks at the end of August, so I definitely had to just refresh my love. Third, this song is my karaoke go-to. Anytime I hear this song, I can’t help but sing along and just chill. Also, Leighton Meester (yes, that girl from Gossip Girl) and her friend did a sick cover of this one. Do I need to justify this one anymore? This is an every summer song.
9. Vindicated- Dashboard Confessional
Yeah this song was featured in the second spiderman that had Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. I don’t know the names of all the superhero movies, especially the Spiderman franchise because theres like a thousand of them. Anyway, you can tell I needed to release a lot of emotion this summer. This is great for screaming in the car after a bad day, and if you work in the middle of a tourist trap like I do, every day has the potential to go awry. Angry at customers who complain about how long the line is but are just part of the problem? Vindicated. Angry that you had to work the Fourth of July and missed fireworks? Vindicated. Couldn’t find parking and were late to work because tourists took up all the “employee only” parking? Vindicated. Another 5K ending at the front door of your workplace? Vindicated.
10. Everyday (feat. Future)- Ariana Grande
This song reminds me of a beach read. Light, easy, and probably a little raunchy somewhere. In fact, the one time I laid out and tanned, I listened to this song on repeat while reading a beach read. Just fun and makes you think about a fling you just want to hold on to for the summer. Obviously I didn’t have one of those flings, but a girl can dream. Also, another good song to get ready to. And have you seen the music video? Its just people making out everywhere while Ariana Grande cheers them on. Its pretty feel good, which is exactly what I want my summers to be like. (And PS for some reason like everyone I know hates Ariana Grande, but she’s got a good voice, she did a great thing for Manchester, and she’s cute. Must just be jealousy?)
What were your songs this summer?