Ahhhh, summertime. Here are five albums that capture the essence of 70 degrees and sunny (most of the time), swimsuits and shorts, and sleeping in until noon (well, on the weekends, at least).
Deluxe Hotel Room by Lucette
Canadian-born indie artist Lucette sings of all kinds of joy and pain in her sophomore album, her hauntingly beautiful croon shining brilliantly against a background of jazzy saxophones and smooth piano keys. I find it to be reminiscent of lazy, golden days spent in a hammock somewhere, or of watching the sun go down from a distant hotel balcony. Notable tracks include "Fly to Heaven", "California", and of course, the album's genius title track.
Jazzie Robinson by Mellow Fellow
The artist Mellow Fellow, or Polo Reyes, falls into the genre of "dream pop", a style dominated by ethereal, atmospheric beats and sonic, lucid vocals (everything from Beach House to Cuco). This album possesses a very cheery, up-beat kind of theme throughout, and is perfect for easygoing summer afternoons. Some of my favorite tracks are "Best Friend" and "My World."
Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) by The Beach Boys
This list wouldn't be complete without a bit of 60s surf pop, and of course, I had to go with the legends themselves. This album is an essential for a day spent at the beach and makes a great addition to any poolside playlist; I would also consider it a great introduction to the Beach Boys, as it includes some of their most popular songs (such as "California Girls"). I love every track on this album, and I highly recommend listening to it straight through if you have 27 minutes to kill!
Kick by INXS
Perfect for a summer barbeque, this album is full of classic tracks from 80s Australian rock band INXS, like "New Sensation" and "Never Tear Us Apart." It's a perfect mix of dance-pop and rock-n-roll, with colorful drumbeats and enthusiastic vocals exuding energy and motivation. My favorite tracks include "Guns In The Sky", "Devil Inside," and "Mystify."
Camp by Childish Gambino
I'd like to consider Donald Glover a modern-day Renaissance man, and his 2013 debut is probably one of my favorite hip-hop/rap albums of all time. It explodes with brilliantly-written lyrics and energetic beats right from its opening until the album's stunning, almost 8-minute long conclusion, and establishes Glover as a force to be recognized within the genre. Some of my favorite tracks include "Fire Fly", "Letter Home", and "Heartbeat."