How To Create the Perfect Summer Playlist

:: 07.03.17

- By Cassandra Cloutier -

Summer is officially here, and that means it’s time to crank up those groovy tunes! In theory, creating a summer playlist sounds simple. However, creating the perfect mix of summer bops for any situation or musical preference can be a bit more tricky. So, here are some tips to keep in mind when the pressure of having aux cord responsibilities becomes all too real.

First, you can never have too many songs. Resist the temptation to be picky or thinking you need to delete those last few songs! The more songs the better, because nothing is worse than having a 50 song playlist that doesn’t last the entire duration of your road trip.

Speaking of road trips, that’s the next thing you want to keep in mind— location, location, location. Summer is the time for anything and everything, so don’t restrict your song choices based on one specific mood. Your playlist should include songs for a variety of occasions such as: a late afternoon drive to the beach, laying in the grass with someone special watching the clouds drift by, peaceful camping adventures, and of course the movie cliche of a late night summer drive alone with the windows down. Thinking of situations where your playlist will be enjoyed makes simplifies how to match songs to vibes. For example, as a fairly obvious starting point, The Beach Boys make fantastic music for a majority of the situations listed above and are a must have for a well rounded summer playlist. Another important note for a perfect playlist: let your songs span numerous generations! Personally, I have everything from Dick Dale, and the Grateful Dead to modern punk anthems and vaporwave artists on my summer playlist, don’t be afraid to mix genres.

While we’re on the subject of vaporwave, I find myself listening to more and more of it as the summer progresses and it makes for an ideal, atmospheric sound that falls into place perfectly to watch the clouds dance by and relax. Vaporwave music is mainly instrumental, which is great for a calming day, or maybe you’re hosting a backyard party and don’t want anything too distracting. One of the artists that takes up a good portion of my personal summer playlist is 18 Carat Affair, so if you’re unfamiliar with the genre, they’re a great starting point!

My last bit of advice for making a summer playlist is simply that it speaks to you. Add songs that speak to you. If you have strong memories associated with certain songs that bring you back to the carefree bliss of summer, then include those! At the end of the day the most important thing about a playlist is making sure you enjoy listening to it and creating new memories with the people you care about while the playlist sets the perfect tone. If you’re still looking for a little more inspiration, I’ve included some of my favorite bands and artists for certain moods down below.

Morning/Afternoon Drive:

Laying in the grass with someone special watching the clouds drift by:

  • Tame Impala
  • Beach Fossils
  • Funkadelic
  • The Beatles (later works)
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Modest Mouse
  • Passion Pit
  • Twin Peaks
  • Wavves
  • 18 Carat Affair
  • The Babe Rainbow

Peaceful camping adventures & late night summer drive alone with the windows down: