Songs of Summer 2015: July playlist


by Ashley Smith, Layout Editor

Music just sounds better in the summer. I can’t listen to lyrics about suntans and sangria while the snow is falling. It’s actually kind of depressing. So, whether you’re stuck inside at an internship or sitting along the poolside with your friends, check out this playlist of some of my favorite summer songs.

“Hypnotic” by Zella Day

Pop princess Zella Day just released her first LP, “Kicker,” on June 2. Her first single from the album, “Hypnotic,” is just that. Her sound has been compared to a more hyped-up Lana Del Rey—some people even go as far to say she’s better. If you’re a festival-dweller, check her out at Lollapalooza this summer.

“Sparks” by Hilary Duff

If you didn’t have “Metamorphosis” on repeat when you were younger, you’re a liar. I remember choreographing dances to her songs with my neighborhood friends (and sometimes I’ll still throw the album on when I’m feeling nostalgic). Well, 2003 Hilary is “so yesterday” but her new album is not. All grown up, Hilary’s lyrics and modern dance tunes are still relatable in her first LP in eight years, “Breathe In. Breathe Out.”

“I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers

This song made the playlist mainly because Bleachers was the first (but not last) concert I attended this summer. This song is definitely still my favorite off their album. It’s the only one you can scream-sing along to the radio without feeling too bad about your terrible singing voice. If you’re in Des Moines this summer and want to see great music, Wooly’s is a great stop. Otherwise, I would check out the first Hinterland Music Festival at Water Works Park.

“All The Pretty Girls” by Kaleo

I’ve had this song on repeat since the first time I heard it on All Songs Considered’s pre-SXSW show. Kaleo is a Norwegian band that has a very soft, dreamy sound, similar to Bon Iver (in this song at least). I like their other songs, like “Broken Bones,” but they all have a rock sound to them, nothing like this. The music video is also summer-themed; it features a bonfire, summer sunset and an ocean.

“Tiny Dancer” by Elton John

Throwing us all the way back to 1971, this song (and many other oldies) is on my summer playlist because when I head up to my cabin in Minnesota, we always listen to the classics while sitting around the fire. I grew up listening to this song and many others from the great music-makers of past generations, and it isn’t summer without them.

“Love Me Like You Mean It” by Kelsea Ballerini

Literally the ONLY time I’ll listen to country music is during the summer. I love this song because one, my girl Taylor Swift made her famous by tweeting about how obsessed she was with this song (Taylor Swift is never wrong); and two, country music is a very male-dominated genre, and I love when a new girl breaks through the country glass-ceiling.

“Heaven Sent” by Best Coast

The second single off of the duo’s third album, released May 1, this love song has an upbeat, but still haunting, feel to it. Although the video is all lace and flowers, I picture a California beach scene every time I listen to it.

“Anything Goes” by Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line’s summers are my dream summers. I feel like every time I’m listening to them, I should be wearing cutoffs in the back of a pick-up truck, sipping on Fireball next to a river with the sun beating down on me. “Anything Goes” is no exception and I’ll be jamming all summer to this one.

“Summertime” by Kenny Chesney

This is a CLASSIC summertime song. In my opinion, this song encapsulates the entire summertime experience. From “cheap shades and a tattoo and a yoo-hoo” to “it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine, it’s summertime,” summer is not the same without this song on your playlist.

“Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap

I don’t think anyone is immune to this catchy song. I’m not the biggest fan of rap or hip-hop, but I can’t help jamming, especially when my roommates turn it on and white-boy dance to it.