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A Good Playlist is About the Rise: How To Build Your Summer Playlist

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If you have ever seen the iconic TV series, How I Met Your Mother, you know Neil Patrick Harris’ character, Barney Stinson. One episode, on New Year’s Eve, the gang is determined to find the perfect NYC party. Well, we all know that you got to pre-game and get into the mood for the ultimate party night. At one point, Stinson claims that the best playlist is all about the rise, which is followed by him blasting Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Well, I agree to an extent with him. The rise is very important, but so too is the nostalgia. I am also a huge sucker for a solid bass line.

 

For me, summer is a state of mind. It is about the pool, beach, tans, sunscreen smells, and being outdoors. Rolling the windows down in the evening as the sun sets, blasting your favorite tunes, and singing at the top of your lungs. However, there is absolutely not just one genre that fits the summer mindset. SoPSA: if you do not believe that the Ying Yang Twins, the Jonas Brothers, Tom Petty, and Marilyn Manson deserve to be on the same playlist without skipping a beat, move on (and you have 0 taste and range in music). Side note: although I am an Okie, I absolutely DO NOT condone country music on any of my playlists (one exception: Old Town Road with Lil’ Nas). If you really want to hear a grown man bitching about his girl, drinking beer, or riding a tractor, look elsewhere.

 

For my playlist I have a large variety of music that really starts from my peaked interest and introduction to solid music back in high school circa 2005. That was the time I attended my very first concert (Ben Kweller) and was blown away by all the amazing music I had been missing. After that, I really got into the alternative rock scene. I always relied on my high school friend, Jenny, to expose me to the newest, coolest scene music. That is when I got introduced to bands like The Strokes (still an all-time favorite), The Shins, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tokyo Police Club, Ben Kweller and more. As I got older though, l compartmentalized my music to fit the specific mood I was in. So my Spotify has several playlists that have only a few genres that are very similar to each other. However, summer tunes mean you have to have the ability jump from different decades, starting in the 1970’s.

 

My tastes are deeply rooted in alternative rock. Some favorite bands of mine are: The Strokes, The Shins, Spoon, The Red HotChili Peppers, Regina Spektor, The New Pornographers, and Ben Kweller (he still hits). However, I do not believe that you can make a playlist to fit a whole season that only has one genre. My Summer Playlist includes: alternative rock, including the bands mentioned above plus more; classic rock, featuring Tom Petty and Smashing Pumpkins; rap with artists like Nelly (my love from middle school), A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, TI; hip hop that has to include Usher, Beyonce, and Destiny’s Child; grunge rock that obviously includes bands like The Offspring, Green Day, Sum 41, and Nirvana; and more modern artists, not excluding Ariana Grande, The Jonas Brothers (far removed from their virginity ring days and the sway of the Disney channel), Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and Billie Eilish.

 

I am going to be bold and say that the best bass line on my playlist, since that is super important to me (and to be honest should be to you too), is “Dance, Dance” by Fallout Boy. That is closely followed by “Only” by Nikki Minaj, Drake, and Lil’ Wayne. If you are easily offended by profanities or sexual content, I STRONGLY suggest you do not listen to my playlist either. I do not mess with bleeped out lyrics or tame content.

 

My by far favorite band right now (and newly rediscovered) is The Offspring. You can literally blast any of their hard hitting songs any day of the week and wish to God you knew all the lyrics so you can belt it out rolling down the highway. However, a solid rap song hits just as hard. On my playlist I strongly suggest throwing it back to the 90’s rap scene and cranking up “I Got 5 On It.” To be utterly honest I have NO clue what that means (probably drug or gang related), but I will nail every word to it while the speakers shake in my truck.

 

If you are more into the modern music scene (aka chart hits), you can never go wrong with Ariana, Drake, Selena, or Demi Lovato. I will suggest though, if you are all about music that will make you want to get up and dance or party, you will really want to look into the DJ Marshmallow. Think along the lines of a Daft Punk meets rap meets Halsey (who is also at the top of my charts for bangers).

 

The perfect playlist is honestly a myth. Even though I created one for the sake of this article (and my own personal use), you can never stop adding on or introducing new genres and artists. It is all about the feel of it.

Listen to my playlist here


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