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  • Essential Summer Songs - 2011 Version

       May 13, 2011

    It's that time again! I'm ready to add another 25 summer songs to the list. Check out our past lists of top summer songs and then see what's new to the list this year. One of the problems with summer songs is that you rarely know what's going to be popular this summer until you're in the middle of it. Because of that, this list is a little 2010 heavy.

    1. A Town Called Malice, by The Jam: You know what can make any list of songs a little better? A little Paul Weller.
    2. Beach Baby, by Bon Iver: I know Bon Iver is usually all winter and stuff, but this song feels like the glimmer of the sun on the water.
    3. Born This Way, by Lady Gaga: The most obvious candidate for the summer song of 2011.
    4. Dancing In The Street, by Martha and the Vandellas: A classic.
    5. Dog Days, by Florence & The Machine: I know the song says "The dog days are over", but from the moment she sings "Happiness hit her like a train on a track" this song is pure summer exhilaration.
    6. Drunk Girls, by LCD Soundsystem: It's the anthem of summer stupidity.
    7. Freebird, by Lynyrd Skynyrd: This is a song only meant to be played while swaying barefoot in the grass.
    8. Friday, by Rebecca Black: I've always said that a great summer song is pretty mindless, and this one sure fits the bill.
    9. F*ck You, by Cee Lo Green: Cussing someone out never sounded so happy and fun before.
    10. Heavy Metal Drummer, by Wilco: To me, this song perfectly evokes a summer in the 90s and the guilty pleasures of classic rock in the grunge era.
    11. Holiday, by Vampire Weekend: Just a sweet & happy little song.
    12. I Don't Feel Like Dancing, by Scissor Sisters: A silly dance song that's perfect for summer nights.
    13. I-35, by Max Stalling: This is like the theme song for going up to the cabin:
      Barreling down I-35 with one thought on my mind
      Forget the race find an open space, leave that city far behind
    14. King Of The Road, by Roger Miller: I dunno, I think of hobos as summer characters and bums as winter characters, right?
    15. Lisztomania, by Phoenix: This is just a light-as-a-feather feeling dance song. It's refreshing!
    16. Locked Inside, by Janelle Monae: I love the chorus and the whole song is just easy and smooth.
    17. Me In Honey, by R.E.M.: You wouldn't know it now, but older R.E.M. songs are just filled with this kind of lazy, southern summer vibe.
    18. Money Grabber, by Fitz & The Tantrums: A fun throwback of a tune.
    19. Rock The Boat, by The Hues Corporation: Someday, someone is going to make an awesome mashup of this song and "I'm On A Boat". It will be liquid awesome.
    20. Sea Of Love, by The Honeydrippers: I prefer The Honeydrippers' version to the original. Despite all of his heavy metal Led Zeppelin credentials, Robert Plant has this amazingly romantic "leading man" voice that is just perfect for this song.
    21. Stand By Me, by Ben E. King: This probably has more to do with the movie (poor River Phoenix) than the song.
    22. Summer In The City, by The Lovin' Spoonful: This is number one on everyone else's lists of summer songs, so I figured I should include it.
    23. The Cave, by Mumford & Sons: This is all about the freedom of summer and raising your arms in the air through your moon roof.
    24. The Message, by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five: While the classic songs talk about "summer in the city", this is actually what it sounds like.
    25. When My Time Comes, by Dawes: Every summer song list needs that one song where everyone can join in on the chorus and sing along.

    Posted by kris at May 13, 2011 11:43 AM

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