It may only be May, but the wrapping-up of the school year means summer. And summer means new places, new people, new adventures, and new music to reflect everything that happens. Here are 12 songs I'm currently listening to that are sure to get you in the mood for summer.
1. "Juice" - Lizzo
What better way to start off summer than with one of hip-hop's hottest new artists? "Juice" is going to be the next "Uptown Funk," if people know what's good for them.
2. "Put A Flower in Your Pocket" - The Arcs
"Put A Flower in Your Pocket" has a perfect balance of heaviness and lightness, in a style that sounds like how summer heat feels.
3. "Lovestruck" - Alex Ernst
"Lovestruck" has an old-fashioned vibe to it, like a time capsule full of memories you can't quite pin down. It's sweet and simple, a pure declaration of feelings that feels like it could be the closing credits to a coming-of-age movie.
4. "Good Vibrations" - The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys invented summer music. Period. And "Good Vibrations" is one of the most summery of the bunch--it brightens your mood just to listen.
5. "Mama Say" - Betty Who
"Mama Say" is a playful look at the idea of a femme fatale, framed by bright rock vocals and a melody you won't be able to get out of your head (not that you'll want to).
6. "Another Travelin' Song" - Bright Eyes
For many, summer means vacations, road trips, camping, and generally seeing places you normally don't get to during the school year. And everybody who doesn't get to travel is wishing they could. "Another Travelin' Song" is the perfect accompaniment for both those who get to go on road trips and those who only get to wish.
7. "This Must Be My Dream" - The 1975
Although "This Must Be My Dream" is, at its core, not a happy song, it has a feeling you get swept away in in spite of its lyrics.
8. "Palm Dreams" - Hayley Kiyoko
Hayley Kiyoko's "Palm Dreams" is about living in California and rising to stardom. Kiyoko's style of electronic music is both catchy and ethereal, and lyrics like "Stars, stars/I'll make it to the top/I'm shining like their cars and rings/The palms see everything" manage to capture bits and pieces of the dreaming summer gives us.
9. "Crush" - The Horrible Crowes
"Crush" is about, as you may have guessed, about a crush, but it's also about the freedom we can find in being honest about ourselves. And even though the singer's feelings never get resolved in the song, he still finds healing through expressing them--all amplified by Brian Fallon's powerful and emotional voice.
10. "Every Other Freckle" - alt-J
This one is pretty shallow for me. I'm a redhead and I get lots of freckles in the summer. Hey, sometimes it's not that deep.
11. "Lemon Boy" - Cavetown
'Lemon Boy" is a sort of softly-out-of-reality vignette into a story of two people who find something special in each other, despite the world's disliking of it. It's also the kind of song that Youtubers love to cover, so you can find hundreds of takes on it.
12. "Saw You In A Dream" - The Japanese House
If you haven't noticed, one of the qualities that makes music summery to me is "dreaminess." Unsurprisingly, "Saw You In A Dream" fits this category beautifully. It's soft, lifting, and hopeful, while carrying a sort of melancholy that deepens the lyrics.