With the weather warming up and finals coming to a close, I know I’m not the only one with plans to hit the beach. Soaking up the sunshine and listening to the waves is the perfect way to unwind after a long semester. Whether you plan to sit back and vibe or take a transcendental nap that’ll leave you utterly disoriented when you wake up (in a good way), here’s a playlist to get the mood right!
1. “I’d Have You Anytime” – George Harrison
What better way to start off this playlist than with the smoooooth stylings of George Harrison, the chillest Beatle. “I’d Have You Anytime” is one of Harrison’s most celebrated songs, and for good reason. The song’s melody is ethereal, accompanied by bending riffs that are tranquil and hypnotic, like rolling waves.
2. “Sunshine (Back to the Start)” – Anemone
This québécois psychedelic pop group should be a summer staple. Their sound has a distinctive radiance that simultaneously mellows me out and makes me want to dance. “Sunshine” is a fantastic example of this. The distant, echoey vocals and bright rhythm create a kind of pep that I can still drift off to.
3. “Fat Old Sun” – Pink Floyd
This song embodies that peaceful drowsiness you feel after spending a long day under the sun. Think back to being out cold in your car seat, probably with some ice cream on your face, as your family heads back home from the beach. Its soft-spoken lyrics and sweet melody make this song, which closes with a beautiful guitar break, feel like a lullaby.
4. “Others” – Shintaro Sakamoto
With the release of Shintaro Sakamoto’s second LP, Let’s Dance Raw, the steel guitar became a recurring theme in his solo work. While Sakamoto has stated that he didn’t want his music to feel “too Hawaiian,” “Others” still has an unshakeable tropical flavor, to no fault of his own. The steel guitar is to island music what jingle bells are to Christmas music. It will always poke at the part of our brains that remembers palm trees and piña coladas. This funky slow jam combines that distinctive tropical sound with soothing Japanese vocals and a saxophone solo to tie it all together.
5. “The Warmth of the Sun” – the Beach Boys
Of course, the kings of summer have a spot reserved on this playlist. The bittersweet harmonies of “the Warmth of the Sun” rock you to sleep, and touches of chimes top it all off with dreamy luster. I have to imagine that this song has cured its fair share of tension headaches.