Recently at my university and around the state, we had uncharacteristically beautiful weather for mid April. The weekend weather was in the high 80's, and there was not a cloud in the sky. Over that weekend I finally (fully) indulged in my summer music. But now that the week has come and mid 40s are a warm day, I thought I would share some of my favorite songs to play when summer temperatures and sun roll around.
1) Nahko and Medicine for the People. "Aloha Ke Akua"
This song (and this band) is perfect for summer nights. Listening to it will make you want to hike mountains while barefoot, hitchhike across the country living off of completing odd jobs for people, quit school and move off the grid, spend every waking moment at the beach. Or, you could hike mountains in hiking boots, have an actual job, stay in school, and go to the beach once and a while. Either way, this is the perfect background song for your summer adventures.
2) Cat Clyde. "Mama Said"
What's better than a mellow tuned indie folk song? Cat Clyde's music is ideal for lukewarm morning sunrises, and a cup of coffee in hand. She won't make you want to run away from your life, she'll make you want to appreciate what you have. "Mama Said" is peaceful, sweet, and something great to relax to.
3) Paul Izak. "Dragonfly Lullaby"
"Dragonfly Lullaby" is all about forgetting your petty worries, letting life come as it is, looking up when you want to look down. This song is the definition of carefree, and can help you keep your spirits high and your optimism healthy. There's even a bonus - he gives a shoutout to Nahko and Medicine for the People in the song! What does he say? You'll have to find out.
4) Tom Petty. "Wildflowers"
Throwing it back to an absolute legend, Tom Petty's airy, light, and happy "Wildflowers" embodies an easy sense of freedom and love. My favorite thing about this song is that when I listen to it, I have a very clear images of what MY interpretation of the song is - almost as if it allows every listener to create their own mental music video. "Wildflowers" is a wonderful ode to a best friend or a loved one.
5) Xavier Rudd. "Butterfly"
This is simply just a fun song. Xavier Rudd incorporates sounds of nature into his music, so in addition to the music and lyrics, you can hear wind blowing, birds chirping, ocean waves crashing. If you're a nature lover, give this one a listen while you're outside appreciating the beauty of summer. Its an easy, soft song that makes you feel lighter.
6) Nahko. "Dragonfly"
I know what you are thinking. Three songs named "Dragonfly Lullaby," and "Butterfly," and "Dragonfly?" Yes, maybe "free spirit" artists should try to avoid the hippie song name generator, but "Dragonfly" really is a beautiful song. From the first solo album of the front man of Nahko and Medicine for the People, this song (and the rest of the album) is incredibly intimate and personal, yet also beautiful to hear and inspiring.
7) Grateful Dead. "Sugar Magnolia"
As the ultimate hippie group, the Grateful Dead pull together everything that makes each of the previous songs so lovely and special - and then some. This song holds a special place in my heart, and the only way that I can try to explain the Grateful Dead and this song in particular is with the very, very overused adjective - happy.