Ooh baby, SUMMER IS HERE. It’s true, the weather’s warm, and finally, FINALLY, everyone’s (hopefully) feeling good, or at least a little better. In response to the feel-good summertime season and my favorite hobby (ahem, road tripping), going hand-in-hand, I’ve put together a nice little playlist that’s perfect for both empowering your spirit and cruising down the open road. Some of these songs will melt your insecurities away, and some will make you want to crack open a cold one, but I promise every dang track will be perfect for thawing your cold winter heart.
1. A Living Human Girl – The Regrettes. Not only has this tune been designed to be the perfect opener to any mix, but it’s everything anyone with insecurities or who has ever gone through puberty needs to hear. With lyrics like “I’ve got … prickly legs, go ahead and stare” and “If you want to criticize me go ahead and take a look,” it’s the absolute elite of songs that make you feel good.
2. Spring has Sprung – Skegss. Although lyrically it might not be the definition of “empowering”, this track is still guaranteed to make you feel A++. It’s springy upbeat and groovy riffs embody the pinnacle of that summer vacation weightlessness feeling, and I guarantee you’ll be picturing everything you want to do while the weather’s warm for the duration of the tune.
3. DQ – Charly Bliss. If super fun songs with lyrics about being 20 and working at Dairy Queen are your thing, then this is the song for you! Despite the track actually being about being sad and missing someone, “DQ” might be the greatest dancing song to be released, like, ever. So go on and get your groove on – just don’t bounce so high you pee the trampoline.
4. Panama – Sports. Ah, Panama. The definition of a summer anthem. A personal all-time favourite, Panama is THE song for highway speeds and windows down. It’s absolutely impossible not to groove to, and will not disappoint if you need an instant good mood on your way to work on Monday morning. It perfectly envisions sand and sunshine, or wildflower fields and mountains, or waterfalls and jungle exploration, whatever your ideal summer activity may be. I’m almost completely telling the truth when I say I have never fallen in love with a song more; there’s only one topping it on my all-time fav’s list, and it didn’t even make it onto this playlist.
5. French Press – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. Another groover, yet this time it’s everything anyone aspires to be when getting over someone. Instead of focusing on the initial sadness that often comes when ties are severed, “French Press” is more along the lines of self-discovery, and allows listeners to envision an ideal version of themselves. Not in an unhealthy way, though – the track is incredibly uplifting and makes you realize that maybe it’s not so hard to make good of a shitty situation.
6. What’s Another Lipstick Mark – Adult Mom. A song to reassure you that all of your little worries and self-criticisms are perfectly normal. We all face times when we’re not feeling too hot, and this tune sums up those times perfectly. It’s important to keep on trekking and find a light during said situations, though. “What’s Another Lipstick Mark” reminds us that “success is finding a seat on a crowded subway,” so “wipe the lipstick off [your] apple and sit comfortably.”
7. Who Needs You – The Orwells. Political activism that’s danceable? Yes please. This jam is super woke, but unless you’re deliberately listening to the lyrics, you wouldn’t even know it. So go on and do something meaningful this summer, and let this song inspire it. Stick it to the man, or as the track suggests, just say “No thank you, dear old Uncle Sam.”
8. Harvard – Diet Cig. Everything you could ever want in a mosh-worthy song about your ex. Balancing angst and heaven-sent vocals in perfect harmony, there’s no way to listen to the track and not screech along with it. It’s exactly what anyone could ever want in a road trip sing/scream-along, so go on and turn the volume up so loud it drowns out your shitty voice cracks.
9. Soul No. 5 – Caroline Rose. The perfect tune to show off your maybe no so great dancing skills at the bar, or a party, or wherever there’s alcohol and you can manage to hear it played. It has everything a drunk dancing song needs, but still doubles as a great jam to blast while cruising down the coast. It’s totally groovy, for a better term, and is definitely something you’ll want to hear all summer long.
10. Drag – Day Wave. For the rainy days and rainy drives, maybe while camping, or maybe just at home. A little (but not overwhelmingly) sad, yet still managing to be an outright JAM. This one’s a little different from the others, balancing slightly-emo lyrics with a nice solid upbeat-but-still-mellow indie vibe. It’s equally as rainy-day as it is beach campfire with your best pals, and is still super great for driving to reach said destinations, user tested guaranteed.
Like what you read but want to hear the songs for themselves? No worries – add our playlist to your Spotify. And still wanting more after just ten songs? Don’t fret about that, either – it’s got another sixteen tunes to ensure you don’t have to resort to radio. Ideally, the playlist has been designed to be listened to in order, but nobody’s going to call the cops if you hit the shuffle button. Stay safe, wear sunscreen, get empowered, and happy road tripping!