The days are long, but doesn’t it feel great when the summer sun goes down? No more sweat, no more sunburn. Just a little relaxation, maybe a few marshmallows by the fire, some dancing on a rooftop, perhaps? You may be burned out from the heat, but we’ve got you covered. So covered that we’ve provided a whole mixtape. Don’t worry, you can thank us later. Let Side B guide your summer nights (check out Side A for the soundtrack to your summer days). The essential songs, with clips, are below. Read all the way to the end to find a Spotify playlist with additional songs to fill your breezy days.
“That Summer Feeling” — Jonathan Richman
You’re wiped out. The hot hot heat, the bar-b-q, the beach, the dancing — all you want to do is relax. We get it. How about starting with “That Summer Feeling,” the wistful tune by Boston’s resident weirdo Jonathan Richman. Listen to Jonathan: Don’t wait until you’re older to enjoy the summer, because it will haunt you for the rest of your days.
“Bonfire” — Beat Happening
The sun is down, the moon is out. Why not start a bonfire? And here is the perfect musical accompaniment: “Bonfire,” by Beat Happening. A little on the nose? Maybe, but the song isn’t about just a fire, really, but the growing resentment of a boy brooding over a girl not giving him attention while he watches her over the bonfire. I suggest enjoying the song and not being such a bummer, though. Don’t ruin the party.
“Summertime Blues” — Eddie Cochran
Not everyone loves summer. The heat, the sweat, the exhaustion. Most days, you look outside, and everyone is having the time of their life, and you’re stuck in an office. Harsh. Don’t bury that anger — this is the day to let it out. How about by listening to “Summertime Blues,” by Eddie Cochran.
“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” — Bryan Ferry
Here’s a problem I’m sure you can relate to. You’ve been sitting at the bonfire a while, sipping a beer, everyone is laughing, having fun. The only problem is the damn smoke! You can run circles around that bonfire, the smoke will always get in your eyes. Accept that, and the pain will go down more smoothly. You know what else will work? Bryan Ferry’s cover of Jerome Kern’s “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”
“The Summer” — Yo La Tango
The night is winding down. The fire is burning out. Your summer days are coming to an end. I can’t think of a better song that captures this feeling than “The Summer,” by Yo La Tengo. “Till’ the summer comes undone,” indeed.