End of April in the South means it's already sunburn season. It's already time to break out the tank tops and short shorts and spend as much time as you can outside before the humidity increases to 150% and you have to swim through the air. The end of April in the South is the sneak-peak of summer.

Living in the suburbs of Nashville, the country-side is all around me. There is nothing I miss more about my hometown and the counties around it than the driving. First of all, being behind the wheel is the most simple outlet of being in control of anything, which is what most college freshman barely feel all year. Being behind the wheel is control, and to drive without any destination, to just gas it, that is freedom.

But who wants to ride in silence?

It's called "windows-down-rides" for a reason. And if the speakers in your car aren't cracked from years of heavy bass in the back like mine, you're doing it wrong. And the music you should be listening to in this sticky southern heat is country. End of story.

So here are my top 15 country songs that need to be added to your playlist ASAP, because April in the South is the pregame to sweet-summer July.

1. How Not To - Dan + Shay

This song just rings spring, and you can never go wrong with this perfect duo.


2. Red Dirt Road - Brooks & Dunn
Another duo, this time the song is much older. It's got a little more twang, but it's only ever gotten better with age.


3. Chills - James Barker Band

We're back to the newer stuff, but this song went very under-appreciated in the exploding country genre. Its pace makes you want to put the pedal-to-the-metal right around sunset time.


4. Blue Tacoma - Russell Dickerson

Now this song has taken country music by storm. Just because it might be overplayed doesn't make it any less hype when those first striking notes come on.


5. Day Drunk - Morgan Evans

A general recommendation: play Morgan Evans on a loop from this moment until the last day of summer. But him and Kelsea Ballerini having this day? Marriage goals. This video is summer hype-up material.


6. Talk you out of it - Florida Georgia Line

It would not be a back-road driving session (or summer at all) without an FGL song. It's a little slower than their usual fast-paced (almost country headbanging sometimes) style, but this is what the girls want to hear.


7. David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs - Travis Denning

This song might be one of the best. The music video opens up with "Based on a million true stories," and it's a hilarious, reminiscent song that literally millions of kids (and their parents) can laugh at and spur a story-telling session.


8. Southern Comfort Zone - Brad Paisley

This song hits hard if you've lived anywhere else than the south in your life, or if you like to travel. Brad tells us all that we can't see this big world if we don't step outside the south, even if it is the ~best~ place in the world. Click the link to see Brad making friends all over the world. He leaves us with "See this world," even if it's a backroad you've never found the time to turn down. Do it.


9. Saltwater Gospel - Eli Young Band

Summertime is beach time - and this song makes you want to jump in head first. Windows down BEACHSIDE drive!


10. Outta Style - Aaron Watson

Back to the fast-paced drum beats and guitar. Just try not to get up and dance while you're driving, seatbelts stay on in this article.


11. I like the Sound of That - Rascal Flatts

Just like FGL, there is NO summer song list that should exclude Rascal Flatts. This song is up there with "Life is a Highway," on their best.


12. Two Black X's - Dylan Schneider

With the same vibe of "David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs," any college kid coming home for summer or going to a concert will smile at any faded black x's staining the back of their hands.


13. American - Morgan Evans

I've limited the list to only two Morgan Evans songs, but the recommendation still stands: put this guy on repeat. If this song doesn't make you want to snatch up all your friends from around town and hit all your favorite spots (and find some new ones), no song will.


14. Young Forever - Eric Paslay

This is a sunset drive, driving to the rope-swing in the creek, or dancing around the bonfire in the backyard song. We all wanna live this song every day.


15. American Country Love Song - Jake Owen

Jake Owen is the physical manifestation of summer. Whenever the first guitar riffs sound in any speaker, my friends and I dive for the worn out volume dial in my 2003 Chevy Suburban. This may or may not have contributed to the cracked mess of them, but hey my sister drove her first. The point is, this song is summer. Windows down, cruising on the lake with all my best friends, watching fireworks on the beach in New Jersey with my family, this song is every summer memory piled into three-and-a-half minutes. And it all gets triggered on that drive with no destination.

Happy listening ;)