As far as summer usually goes, it can be a mixed bag in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes, our summer is only a week long, and is more of a hot springtime than a hot summer. Other times, it’s a raging, face-melting, oppressive series of months that lures people out of their homes and leads them into the mountains and towards the coastline.
People of all types and all tax brackets pile into their most trusty vehicle and spend weekends in the San Juan Islands, flee to wine country, or rent cottages along the Pacific Ocean’s coastline to get away from the city heat. (These listings get me through the day sometimes.)
This summer playlist is inspired by the seasonal migration of sweaty PacNW hipsters. It also celebrates the fact that I recently bought a car that allows me to follow that mass exodus without spending my life savings on gas. Previously, I was borrowing a Ford Expedition that got 10.6 mpg… Awesome to be an ethics-ranting blogger who drives one of the most wasteful cars on the planet, right? Now I have a little car that gets ~40mpg on the highway – dream come true! …And I don’t feel like a gigantic hypocrite!
Back to the playlist: it was built for humid weekends and early workdays when the air feel like a literal wet blanket. Let it help you envision winding roads through forests or around cliff sides with the windows down, sunglasses on, heading to an oasis that promises to release you from the shackles of summer heat. Or at least, let it distract you from the fact that you can’t just sit in the living room in your underwear with a thousand fans on you at all times, and instead have “responsibilities“… Escapism is important, especially when you’re a grownup.
Speaking of that, this is also my last summer as a 20-something, and that may be partially fueling my spontaneity-inspired playlist. I mean, I just bought a car… Financing and everything! That’s some adult shit, right there. I’m hoping that there will never be a time in my life that I cannot take beat-the-heat summer road trips, but I’m acutely aware of the need to live in the moment – especially at this age, when my body works pretty darn well, and I have the energy and ability to make crazy decisions and have wild adventures. So the playlist also serves as a little bit of a tribute to my extremely irresponsible and incredibly fun 20s.
Broke & Beautiful’s Summer 2014 Playlist
Source image: Super moon from my Instagram!
Roll down your windows and turn it up!
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Metric – Gimme Sympathy • Spotify | Rdio
Metric is one of the most energetic rock bands I’ve ever heard, and there are very few songs that I wouldn’t consider “one of their best.” This track is no exception, and its sentiments are a perfect way to start out the summer. Let this be your summer anthem!
Cake – I Will Survive • Spotify | Rdio
I can’t get through a summer without the Fashion Nugget album from Cake. I’ve been listening to it since it came out in 1996, which is also the year I was lucky enough to see them in concert for the first time. Cake always sounds sunny to me, despite the occasionally bizarre lyrical content. This Gloria Gaynor cover is the perfect start to the season!
Laura Gibson – La Grande • Spotify | Rdio
It hasn’t been very long since I first heard this song by Laura Gibson and immediately shared it on #Tunesday. It perfectly fits the adventurous feeling that I’m chasing. It’s something about the drums that adds an element of danger to the song. Every summer adventures needs a little bit of danger!
Southern Culture on the Skids – Walleyed • Spotify | Rdio
This band is a new discovery for me, but this twisted, vocal-free surf-rock from Southern Culture on the Skids has me hooked! After just happening to fall for another song on the same album, I took a cruise through the track list and found this speaker-breaker.
Wild Belle – Keep You • Spotify | Rdio
A completely hypnotizing song from a brother & sister duo with a tempo that keeps your head moving along with the breathy, dreamy vocals. (I love their music video, too!)
Goldfrapp – Ooh La La • Spotify | Rdio
This song, and the album it comes from, is a summer staple. Full of luscious vocals from underground icon, Alison Goldfrapp, and backed by utterly danceable beats.
Spoon – I Turn My Camera On • Spotify | Rdio
Here is a slinky, sauntering track that will definitely make you feel like turning a picnic bench into an elevated dance platform. If you turned Terry Richardson into a song, and removed the grossness, you’d have this song. Dirty, sexy music! Sounds like: a Flight of the Conchords song that was written by an old-school rock band.
Tennis – Marathon • Spotify | Rdio
This is by far the cutest song on this playlist, but don’t let its cuteness distract you from the tight-as-a-drum band arrangement, and another instance of my favorite 60s pop drum beat!
Sharon Van Etten – Magic Chords • Spotify | Rdio
Don’t let the sleepy pace of this song fool you, it’s one of the most catchy, sway-inducing tunes, and I guarantee that you’ll be humming it days after you hear it.
If you have any necessary summer songs or playlists, leave a link below! I could talk summer jams all day.