Summer Jams

by Lois H.

Much like the festive months of winter, the summer season has its own genre of music. Summer jams are often less lyrically specific than holiday tunes. They usually connote the feeling of summer through composition and melody. And while we all seem to share a collective cultural understanding of holiday music, summer music is heavily associated with personal experience.

I could write you paragraphs about what I think the composition of a true summer jam should resemble. Appropriate topics and vocals and instrumentation. Though there is a science and an art to music, so much of it comes right back to feeling. That one song you heard on the radio all summer long after graduating from high school. The album that drifted through your home on warm summer evenings with all the windows open and curtains gently flying in the breeze. The musical you listened to on cassette tape every day of summer break.

Summer jams are uniquely personal. Although many of mine stem from my childhood, I also find that I accumulate more songs every summer. Here are a few of my top picks for summertime listening:

Lust for Life by Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey’s fifth studio album is definitely going for that Summer of ’69 vibe. Between the tracks “13 Beaches” and “Get Free,” this is an album I want to listen to while lying on the beach all summer long.

This album features prolific guest artists like The Weeknd, ASAP Rocky, and Stevie Nicks, as well as John and Yoko’s son, Sean Oko Lennon. With a more authentic sound than previous albums, Lana Del Rey demonstrates her maturity as an artist.

Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits

Whether you’re a new Simon and Garfunkel fan or a long time listener, this compilation of their greatest hits is the perfect background music for summer cleaning or gardening.

Though some may gravitate toward more upbeat pop songs in the summer, I’m more drawn to the softer sounds of folk rock. Tracks like “Scarborough Fair” and “America” immediately transport me to warm summer evenings.

Fortress Round My Heart by Ida Maria

As a teenager, Norwegian artist Ida Maria carried me into the musical taste I would hold as an adult. She screams and croons her way with humor and honesty through hit tracks like “Oh My God” and “Queen of the World.”

Fortress Round My Heart is a powerful pop-punk/alternative rock album for the strong emotions of summer.


What are some of your summer jams? Comment below with your favorites!

For more summer tunes, check out my recommendations below:

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One response to “Summer Jams”

  1. I wish there was a YouTube or Spotify playlist for this post!

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