If you’ve been reading my columns over the past three and a half years, you probably know I’m a big list guy. I’m weird that way, but I’m fascinated by how people rank things whether it’s music, movies, sports teams, jerseys, books — you name it.
Another thing I’m fascinated by is playlists and how people choose artists/bands, the song ordering and mixing and matching genres. It’s a fun thing to do and share with your friends to get them to experience music they’ve probably never heard before.
So without further ado, here’s my first draft of the spring/summer vibes playlist.
1. The Ataris — Boys of Summer
I think The Ataris’ cover of Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” is one of my favourite covers of all time. It’s also a no-brainer when it comes to summer playlists for obvious reasons.
2. blink-182 — Online Songs
I don’t know if there’s another band I associate with warm weather more than blink-182. There are several songs I considered, but I think “Online Songs” is one of them that immediately flashes me back to summer in the mid-2000s.
3. Creeper — Paradise
Creeper’s “Paradise” is one of those songs destined to become a summer nighttime driving song for me. Everything about it makes me think about driving when the sun is going down, all the windows in your car are down and the music is so loud every car you pass can make out the song.
4. Four Year Strong — Abandon Ship or Abandon All Hope
FYS is a must for summer playlists because of their high-intensity, incredibly catchy and foot-stomping brand of punk rock. There are tons of songs that could have been slotted in, but the riff in “Abandon Ship or Abandon All Hope” is so killer, it was the one.
5. Bob Seger — Hollywood Nights
Bob Seger has been playing in my parent’s house since I was born and as a kid, he was one of my favourites — and that hasn’t changed. “Hollywood Nights” has been on summer playlists since it was released in 1978 and I imagine that will continue for a long time considering how great the tune is.
6. Lorde — 400 Lux
I love Lorde so much and “400 Lux” is a song that makes me think about summers back when I was in high school. We’re right around the same age, so almost all of her songs are relatable to some degree and this one, in particular, is an easy choice as a summer anthem.
7. The Dirty Nil — Possession
The new Nil record brings plenty of great summer jams and “Possession” is near the top of the list. The sing-along chorus will be absolutely perfect to belt out all summer long.
8. Arkells — Where U Goin
“Where U Goin” is my favourite Arkells song and it’s on tons of my playlists and it’s on another one. It’s not their most popular, but I think it’s such a well-rounded song from start to finish it needs more recognition.
9. Beastie Boys — Shadrach
Talk about an absolute slam dunk of a track to put on your summer playlist. Beastie Boys are one of the best hip/hop groups of all time and “Shadrach” from Paul’s Boutique is such a jam it could go in any playlist.
10. Green Day — Stuart and the Ave.
From the opening D chord and the preceding bass line, “Stuart and the Ave.” is a quintessential Green Day song. It’s on the short side, but it’s a high burst of energy in the middle of this summer playlist.
11. KennyHoopla featuring Travis Barker — ESTELLA
Another catchy pop-punk offering comes from this new KennyHoopla song “ESTELLA,” which features blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. I had never heard of KennyHoopla until this song dropped — but man, it’s such a good song I’ve had in on repeat since I first listened.
12. PUP — Sibling Rivalry
PUP’s ode to sibling road trips is another easy choice for this playlist. PUP is one of those bands that has a song from pretty much every mood and “Sibling Rivalry” is one of the standouts from their latest album Morbid Stuff.
13. Machine Gun Kelly featuring Halsey — Forget Me Too
Machine Gun Kelly’s first pop-punk album Tickets to my Downfall is mostly filled with catchy, fun songs and “Forget Me Too” was easily my favourite track. It’s a good mix of both MGK and Halsey and it’s a pretty standard pop-punk track that gets everyone fired up.
14. Hot Milk — June Gloom
Hot Milk is one of those bands that deserves a lot more recognition. They’ve been putting out tons of great songs for a couple of years now and I’m constantly listening to the songs they’ve put out — “June Gloom” being one of my favourites.
15. The Regrettes — Dress Up
The Regrettes are another one of those bands that just sound better during the warmer months for some reason. “Dress Up” is so catchy and every time I listen to it, I can’t help but smile and sing along.
16. My Chemical Romance — Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back
MCR is one of those bands that gets a bad wrap for some reason — but man, from lyrics, music, composition and backlog of songs, they are a special band. “Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back” may not be a traditional summer anthem — but the song just hits from start to finish.
17. The Tragically Hip — Family Band
I don’t know if there are many Canadians that don’t have at least one Hip song in their summer playlist. While many are filled with classic Hip songs, I’ve always had a special admiration for “Family Band” from their 2006 album World Container.
18. Paramore — Rose-Colored Boy
Paramore’s “Rose-Colored Boy” is one of those songs you can’t help but scream your lungs out to. The chorus in this song may be my favourite in any Paramore song, and that’s saying something because Hayley Williams is a master at writing a catchy chorus.
19. Descendents — Smile
Punk legends Descendents have been around since the early 1980s and they’re still cranking out fantastic tunes with another album being recorded at this moment. “Smile” is not only the best song from their 2016 offering Hypercaffium Spazzinate, but one of the top songs they’ve released over their storied career.
20. Jawbreaker — Kiss the Bottle
The 1990s were a big time for up and coming pop-punk/punk rock bands, but the one that may have been forgotten by many is Jawbreaker. And if you’re a fan of that era and you’ve never heard of them, do yourself a favour and give them a listen because they are quite incredible, and “Kiss the Bottle” is a great start.
21. The Clash — I’m Not Down
We’re at the final two spots and of course, The Clash had to make an appearance somewhere. I had about six songs that could have gone on this playlist, but “I’m Not Down” is so energetic it’s hard not to have this one blasting in the summertime.
22. Jeff Rosenstock — Ohio Tpke
Last summer, Jeff Rosenstock’s newest offering No Dream was on constant repeat. “Ohio Tpke” is not only my favourite song off the record, but it’s also an absolute home run of an album ender, which lends itself perfectly to close out this playlist.
If you’re interested in giving this a listen, the playlist can be found at Spotify:playlist:5Fl6CrROgmJmmii4bvX2xP. I’ll be adding new music pretty regularly throughout the next several months.