It’s the middle of July. It’s roughly 1,000 degrees outside at all times. School is out which means the youths are running around causing mayhem. You need something to get you through these tough summer months, and that something is a dope playlist made yours truly. Check out the breakdowns of my 20 selections below, then hit play on the Spotify playlist at the bottom!
Joyce Manor – “Heart Tattoo”
While the sound of Joyce Manor’s (wonderful) catalog ranges from “pretty chaotic” to “extremely chaotic”, we kick things off here with one of their most straight-forward efforts. It’s fast, it’s catchy, and it’s fun. It’s what I imagine a blink-182 song written in 2016 would sound like in an alternate universe where blink-182 still made good music.
The Front Bottoms – “Backflip”
Ok fine, this song has basically the same riff as “La Bamba”. So what? Say what you will, but I fully endorse a world where every song is a rip-off of “La Bamba”. MAKE AMERICA LA BAMBA AGAIN.
Hellogoodbye – “Finding Something To Do”
The fact that Hellogoodbye pivoted from a neon synth-pop band to indie darlings so seamlessly is an achievement in its own right. But even removed from that lineage, the opener to their second full length is the perfect encapsulation of sunny, feel-good pop.
Jimmy Eat World – “Lean”
Imagine being 20 years into your career as one of the most highly regarded bands in the genre. It’d be pretty easy to just release generic re-treadings of your previous material and keep cashing checks, right? That makes the fact that Jimmy Eat World is cranking out pop-rock gems like this out even more impressive than it already is.
A Great Big Pile Of Leaves – “Great Fun”
Is there a song title that so wholly incorporates everything that the song is? This is like if Every Time I Die wrote a song called “Heavy” or Neck Deep wrote a song called “Boring The Story So Far Imitation”.
Jeff Rosenstock – “Get Old Forever”
This song opens with the line “When your friends are buying starter homes with their accomplishments/Drinking at a house show can feel childish and embarrassing” and I’m not saying I relate to that but I turn 25 soon and I’m already planning my quarter-life crisis.
Best Coast – “When I’m With You”
Fun fact: You’re legally required to listen to Best Coast anytime the temperature goes above 85 degrees. It’s a tough law, but it’s fair.
Japandroids – “Evil’s Sway”
If I’m being honest, I could have put any Japandroids song here. They literally all fit the description. They’re loud, in your face, and unrelenting. They’re like the audio equivalent of fireworks, which is a really great metaphor I just came up with in the middle of this sentence and am super proud of.
Fake Problems – “Dream Team”
This song checks all the boxes you need for a quintessential summer jam. Infectious melody – yeah. Gang vocals – yeah. Cowbell – yeah. Guitar solo – hell yeah.
Antarctigo Vespucci – “Don’t Die In Yr Hometown”
Did I really just put two Chris Farren songs on this playlist in a row? YOU BET I DID, BABY!
Rozwell Kid – “Kangaroo Pocket”
Close your eyes. Imagine a band with the pop sensibilities of Weezer but they actually seem like they’re enjoying themselves. Now open your eyes. It’s Rozwell Kid. And they rip.
Wavves – “Super Soaker”
I’ve long been lobbying the Grammys to acknowledge Lo-Fi Surf-Punk as a legitimate genre. I’m sure they’re really busy since they haven’t returned any of my emails, but once they do, I’d like to nominate this track for Lifetime Achievement.
Against Me! – “We Laugh At Danger And Break All The Rules”
There is not a song on this earth that begs to be screamed by a group of rowdy hooligans more than this cut off of Against Me!’s timeless record Reinventing Axl Rose. It is such a raucous good time that it also expertly diverts attention from the fact that the song kind of sounds like it was recorded in a cardboard box by a potato.
Manchester Orchestra – “Pensacola”
While Simple Math didn’t strike much of a chord with me, this track really lets the lighter side of the band shine, embracing a sunny, upbeat disposition as opposed to their normally growling bleakness. Plus, the cathartic outburst of gang vocals in the final moments of the song is a never-ending source of enjoyment.
Nada Surf – “Whose Authority”
I have a confession: I only recently got into Nada Surf. I know you’re upset. I’m sorry. But I’m trying to make up for all those years of ignorance now. I hope one day you’ll learn to forgive me.
Saves The Day – “In The In Between”
This playlist could have easily just been Saves The Day songs. It actually was for the first few drafts until I figured I should branch out. I’m kind of regretting scrapping that idea now. Anyway, this is new-age, sugary pop Saves The Day at their finest.
The Gaslight Anthem – “The Patient Ferris Wheel”
When I first heard The ’59 Sound I immediately went to go buy a leather jacket so I could be as cool as Brian Fallon, but I lived in Texas so I wore it for like 10 minutes and almost died of a heat stroke. The moral of the story here is I will never be as cool as Brian Fallon.
The Swellers – “Runaways”
I spend a lot of time thinking about The Swellers and how they should have been the biggest band on Earth and then I get bummed because life’s not fair and now we all have to deal with 21 Pilots.
New Found Glory – “Oxygen”
Is it still considered a hot take to call Coming Home the best New Found Glory record or have we all come to our senses and accepted it? This track is everything great about that album all rolled into one, and the background harmonies of “You’re my oxygen” are far and away the best thing this band has ever created.
Brand New – “Missing You”
Oh, did you think I would do something for the site and not include Brand New? Well, congrats. You played yourself.