Summer is the perfect time to branch out your music taste. In this month’s VOX 5, I’m bringing you the top 5 perfect songs to help you savor the rest of your summer. These songs cover a wide variety of genres, including alternative, folk, and rap. These songs have brought bright energy to my summer, and I hope they do to yours, as well.
“Country Star” by Girlpool
“You’re the country star that lights up my sky,
You’re the first one to make me feel right”
I’ve had this song on repeat as I’ve spent my summer in the midwest, and there’s something very ironic about it. It begins with Avery, Girlpool’s vocalist, singing about sitting at home enjoying a casual relationship with his girlfriend while he fantasizes about being in his country star’s classic car. Even though I, personally, can’t relate to the idea of wanting a country boy, the song is so captivating and passionate. The lyrics have a traditional vibe, from his girlfriend’s name tattooed on his hip to his country boy’s classic car. However, the bass and production have a really intense electronic sound, giving it a layer of irony and making the song even cooler. This is perfect for when you’re sitting at home romanticizing your summer (or if you fall for a country boy).
“Sundress” by A$AP Rocky
“I’m just tryna chill
‘Cause lately I’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout you and rebuildin’
Walking ‘round like you lost feelings
I can tell he not fulfilling”
I’m officially declaring this song the national anthem of “Hot Girl Summer.” I remember listening to this song in my friend’s car in the beginning of summer, and then I totally stole it and added it to all of my playlists. While the first few verses are about A$AP being hung up on his ex, he still manages to sound confident and nonchalant. The production is bright and summery, and A$AP’s voice sounds so pretty. It’s perfect and upbeat enough for summer parties and driving in the car with friends!
“Solar Power” by Lorde
“Turn it on in a new kind of bright, it’s solar
Come on and let the bliss begin
Blink three times when you feel it kickin’ in
That solar power”
This song was an absolute reset for Lorde’s discography. Lorde’s talent combined with Jack Antonoff’s production and background vocals from Clairo and Phoebe Bridgers? Perfection. I often dread summertime because of the eternal heat, but this song makes me want to romanticize it. It radiates warm, cheerful vibes.
“Be Sweet” by Japanese Breakfast
“Fantasize you’ve left me behind and I’m turned back running for you
Make it up to me, you know its better
Make it up to me, you know it’s better
Be sweet to me, baby
I want to believe in you, I want to believe”
This song makes me feel like I just dropped the love of my life off at an airport, where I will have to dramatically return just in time to confess my love to him before I never see him again. Singer Michelle Zauner is begging her lover to confess to their lies so she can trust in them. The instrumental is playful and energetic, and it contrasts with the vibe of the lyrics. I’m so obsessed with the bouncy guitar riffs. It’s very summery, warm, and energetic.
“Anything” by Adrianne Lenker
“Staring down the barrel of the hot sun
Shining with the sheen of a shotgun
Mango in your mouth juice dripping
Shoulder of your shirtsleeve slipping”
The transition of summer to fall is one of my favorite times of the year to listen to folk music. I’ve had this song on repeat all summer. It’s a very peaceful summer love song. The acoustic guitar is very timid but her lyrics are passionate. It reminds me of Sufjan Stevens’ “Carrie & Lowell”. The way she sings about wanting to spend all of her time with this person is so tender, it makes me want to cry a little. It’s so, so, so gentle and vivid. “Weren’t we the stars in heaven / Weren’t we the salt in the sea / Dragon in the new warm mountain / Didn’t you believe in me?” are some of the most beautiful words ever written.