I have a childlike love of the seasons. Winter brings me abuzz with the lights and smells of Christmas and candles and the cosy indoors, while summer warms me and brightens me up on the inside.
Summer makes me think of lazy afternoons in the garden with a book and a glass of wine, long car journeys with the windows down and the music up, picnics in the park with friends, booze, and good music. And as someone who grew up plugged into her CD walkman, and then her various string of iPods, my seasons are always defined to me by the music I listen to. My Happy Sunshine Playlist is my current love, and it makes me feel bright and happy. My favourite highlights of the playlist are:
Oh, Honey – Be Okay
Summer dress, favourite part. Bless your soul, we are here and now.
This song, to me, is my wedding anthem. The vocals are sweet, the beat infectious, the lyrics uplifting. I cannot listen to this song in the winter or even if the sun isn’t shining. This is not a song to listen to in the rain, this song needs to be played loudly in a bright open space. The whole song makes me feel like I’m standing in a field in a beautiful dress, dancing and laughing with the man I love in the sunshine. Can you feel it? Can you feel the sunshine???
Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl
I CAN SEE, YOU HOME WITH ME, BUT YOU WERE WITH ANOTHER MAAAAAAAN, YEAH
This song is just fun. My dad used to sing “1 2 3 temenananana with me” a lot, and that was all he knew. For ages I had one badly sung line stuck in my head, I didn’t know any other lyrics and I couldn’t google by tune, but I stuck to my guns and eventually found the song. Now it’s a staple on any upbeat playlist, whatever the season.
New Radicals – You Get What You Give
Don’t let go, you got the music in you. One dance left, this world is gonna pull through.
They say you should listen to the music that reflects the mood you want to be in, not the mood you’re in now. This is why I listen to this song. When the depression’s bad but I want to feel positive and determined, this song gives me hope. The lyrics are motivational and it reinforces my belief that if you put positivity into the world, you get positivity back. The vocals aren’t mesmerising, they don’t have an incredible power or goosebump-inducing sound to them, but that makes it even better. It’s the sound of a man who really believes in what he’s singing and is having fun with it. It’s guaranteed to make the world feel greener again.
Pulp – Common People
And we’ll dance and drink and screw because there’s nothing else to do.
Perhaps not a typical upbeat summer anthem, but Pulp inspires a lot of feelings in me that this song just sums up. Things don’t always have to be fantastic, times can be tough, but you create your own fun and you create your own pocket of the world. Authenticity is the only thing required. And while it may not be the most positive song, it makes me feel kind of magical.
The Killers – Glamorous Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll
I’ll take my twist with a shout, a coffee shop with a cause then I’ll freak you out.
I love The Killers, and Hot Fuss is an all-time winner. I used to keep the CD in my sister’s car and we’d go for drives blaring it out. This song would come on and I’d struggle to relax and sit back in my seat because I just felt this song and had to shout it out. This is my ultimate drive time karaoke song.
Orson – No Tomorrow
When we’re together there’s no one in the world but you and me
My dad and I used to have a lot of days out and we spent a lot of time in the car together. His six disc CD changer in his Volkswagen Passat was filled with carefully selected albums that we both loved and could sing along to, and sing we did. I have a lot of teenage memories of driving down motorways belting out Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Orson, Maroon 5, and the odd Luther Vandross numbers. It was awesome. This song always sticks out to me more and reminds me of those car journeys. I miss Orson.
I never know what will make a playlist until the season comes. Creating them is just as fun as listening to them, because I love that penny dropping moment when I remember a song and how much I loved it, and all the memories the melody brings with it.