In spring 2011 I began an editorial series entitled Press Play. Almost immediately, a tide of positive feedback rippled in. Many were requests that I make the series seasonal, monthly even. And seeing as though my suggested playlists were multi-themed — could be used for proms, bonfires, beach days, etc. — I reckoned that perhaps it would be judicious to oblige.
As a result, where there is demand, I shall supply.
The cohesion between the summer season and music is mythical. They mesh, they gel. So much so that I, for one, believe almost that you can’t have one without the other. It’s why some of the biggest concerts and music festivals (see: Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza) are held in the summer — it just works.
“Glad You Came” The Wanted: The argument can be made that this record was in rotation for quite some time before the heat waves hit. Though as this track spun across college campuses nationwide — nearly in complete unison — one could strongly declare it the unofficial prelude to summer.
“What A Wonderful World” Sam Cooke: We all love our oldies. This vintage record is the ideal classic to listen to during a road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway with the love of your life.
“Drunk On You” Luke Bryan: No music genre relates to the summer time quite like country. Beer, women, pickup trucks, and… beer, women, and pickup trucks. Well, I guess love calculates into the equation in some form. But regardless, Drunk On You is tailor-made for the small town John eyeing the All-American Jane at every summer social before he ever even thinks of asking her out. With a couple pumps of the keg — and spins of this track — they’ll both be intoxicated on each other before August.
“As Long As You Love Me” Justin Bieber featuring Big Sean: So.. at some point, I blinked; and in that instance of life, Biebs (if I may call him that) went from telling his girl ‘One Time‘, to seemingly enhancing his vocabulary with “swag, swag” whispers. In turn, Biebs — in some sort of delayed puberty transition — attempts to integrate himself into the world of trance music with this latest single. The record has somewhat of a Dubstep meets Kidz Bop feel to it, though — nevertheless — mothers, daughters, and radio stations galore will force feed us this record until 2015, so it’s best to just get on board with it now.
“Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” John Legend featuring Ludacris: For the mature audience, Mr. Legend gives us this soulful, yet snazzy tune. On a warm summer’s night, when you’ve been separated from your “other” all day, it’s the perfect track to play once you’ve been reunited; then throw her on the bed. (Disclaimer: Gentlemen, do not fling your lady onto the bed, but rather sensually.. toss her. I’m here to help you, not be liable for your medical expenses because you’ve thrown your girlfriend through the wall.)
“Work Hard, Play Hard” Wiz Khalifa: This, is a summer record. Khalifa uplifts, motivates, and exemplifies with this track paying homage to his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There are songs, and then there are anthems. And yet again, Mr. Khalifa has dropped an anthem on us that will transcend far beyond the triple-degree season.