Playlist Of The Month: Summer Jams

We’re well into the summer season when visits to the beach are mandatory, weddings are aplenty and we spend our days counting down until vacation. And of course none of these activities would be enjoyable without a good summer soundtrack. More than any other season, I feel like songs help mold the three or so months where the sun (theoretically) shines bright every day, and you’re naturally in a good mood. So here’s a list of our favorites for this year’s summer playlist that will hopefully make your summer days as bright as they do ours!

Check out the entire list on Spotify:

Traci’s Picks

Day Drinking – Little Big Town

In like 2007 or 2008 I saw Carrie Underwood in concert and Little Big Town, a then relatively unknown band (to me at least) opened up for her. My friend and I were like who da fuq are these people? And what’s with the name? Well clearly they’ve since become huge in country music and I am so obsessed with this song. Who doesn’t love day drinking on a hot summer’s day?

Boom Clap – Charlie XCX

Like most people, I became familiar with this song from The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack. There are a lot of great songs on the album, but this one has the perfect feel of young love and makes me want to let down my hair and slowly sway back and forth on a rooftop patio during a cookout.

Restart – Sam Smith

Last week I was in the car for approx 20 minutes and heard two Sam Smith songs on two different radio stations. Boy is blowing up! I fell in love with him when I first heard Latch using during auditions on So You Think You Can Dance last year and immediately needed to find out what the song was. It has since become one of my most played songs on iTunes and made my 2013 Summer Jams list too. Even with his EP released earlier this year, I was dying for Sam’s full length album. As soon as I heard Restart, I knew it was going to be one of my new fave tracks and I have since done the thing where as soon as it ends I just listen to it over and over again, or restart, rather.

Brand New Pharrell featuring Justin Timberlake

Pharrell basically makes megahits with everyone he works with, but when he gets together with Mr. JT, it’s like next level, Michael Jackson shit. I can’t help but move around and dance to this song and I may or may not have found myself in a YouTube spiral of watching people’s choreography to this song.

Rather Be – Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne

Like Sam Smith, Clean Bandit is another British import. This song has been at the top of the UK charts for months now, and after seeing them dominate across the pond, I had to check them out. Rather Be has a contemporary feel – like they should be playing at the Gobi stage at Coachella – but at the chorus it switches up to a 90s dance vibe – like the opened up for a tour with Real McCoy & La Bouche. I can’t get enough of it.

Honorable Mention: Paris – Magic Man

In full disclosure, my good friend’s brother is in this band. But I legitimately like this song a lot and think they’re going places. In fact they’re literally going places when they open up for Panic! At the Disco this summer, so check them out, if you’re into that!

Molly’s Picks

Water Fountain – Tune Yards

So, here’s the deal with this year’s “songs of the summer.” Every song that seems like a contender also feels like it’s been out forever. It just doesn’t feel like a “summer jam” if I listened to it while driving through snow four months ago. So, most of my picks will be jams that for whatever reason haven’t made it to top 40 radio yet. First up: this song that is more of an earworm than half of the creatures featured on Animal Planet’s Monsters Inside Me.

ChiRaq – Nicki Minaj feat Lil Herb

Okay, if this one isn’t on the radio as much as it should be, it’s only because there is no way to take out all of the swears and have it even somewhat make sense. I’m sure that won’t keep Kidz Bop from trying, though.

Drive-In Movies – Ray LaMontagne

I always love a good country song about the joys of summer, but I just haven’t found any I love this year. However, Ray LaMontagne’s tribute to the drive-in — one of my favorite summer staples — sort of fills the same niche topically, albeit without the twang of actual country music. What can I say, I love when LaMontagne gets a bit Springsteen-y.

Chandelier – Sia

Sia: not just for making you crying during TV montages anymore.

Jealous – Chromeo

Like Haim and Yelle, Chromeo makes me feel like I’m experiencing the best parts of the late 80s-early 90s and the present day, all at the same time.

Taste of a Poison Paradise: Best of Britney Spears Covers

IT’S THE PRINCESS OF POP’S BIRTHDAY TODAY, Y’ALL!!

Brit Brit turns 32 years old today, and my what a life she’s had. Let’s put aside our dark memories of B circa 2007-2010 and focus on the good things. Whatever side you’re on of the spectrum of hating and loving Britney, you can’t deny how much of an impact she’s made on pop music. Let’s be real – she’s the closest thing our generation has to a Madonna or Michael Jackson. From dance moves to music videos to belting out her songs at the top of your lungs and maybe wondering why you know all the lyrics, Britney has managed to become of of the most influential artists of all time, whether you realize it or not. You think pop star, and you think Britney Spears.

And because imitation is the highest form of flattery, many an artist has attempted to cover Brit Brit’s catchy tunes over the years, but few have succeeded. In honor of one of my personal favorites, here are a few select covers of some of Britney’s most popular songs. Happy birthday Britney Jean!

Toxic by Alex & Sierra

As you can tell by this video, Alex and Sierra are a super cute couple who are currently vying for the (5?) million dollar record deal  on The X Factor. This was their very first audition and frankly, it’s probably my favorite cover of Toxic. Their voices blend so beautifully that’s it’s annoying. Plus they’re genuinely adorable.

Toxic by Melanie Martinez

Can you tell I used to watch/write about reality TV for a living? This is teenager Melanie Martinez who was a finalist on The Voice. Like Alex & Sierra, this was her audition song and blew the judges away, especially Adam Levine, who scooped her up on his team. Trust me, her singing is better than her choice of hair due.

Everytime by Kelly Clarkson

Queen Kelly Clarkson spend her entire summer tour covering a fan requested song each night, and the people of Las Vegas got a treat when she sang B’s most emotional song, Everytime. Honestly, KC can do no wrong.

Everytime by Glen Hansard

You might now Glen Hansard as the guy from Once or The Swell Season, but he’s apparently also a member of the Britney Spears Appreciation Fan Club. Who knew?

Gimme More by Sia

Listen. B obviously had some difficult times, but to be honest, the album she made during said dark ages, Blackout, is actually a really good record. The lead single is fantastic which is why it’s no surprise one of the most acclaimed singer/songwriters, Sia, decided to sing it with her beautiful, haunting voice.

Womanizer by Lily Allen

Is it just me or does Womanizer just sound like it should have been be sung by a British in the first place? Or should I say WomaniSer???

Circus/Just Dance by Boyce Avenue

Boyce Avenue is a band that made it big after posting covers of songs on YouTube and this is just one of the great versions of popular songs they’ve done. They’re really good at mashups, sometimes even better than Glee. Usually better than Glee.

Hold it Against Me by Sam Tsui

Yet another YouTube sensation, Sam has a voice that is smooth and pitch perfect and kind of sounds like he belongs in a Disney movie. This cover was so popular that it even was featured on Ms. Spears’ official website. If that’s not a stamp of approval, idk what is.