Aural Fixation: A Playlist Slathered In Spf 50

A Playlist Slathered In Spf 50

Jessica Cassyle Carr
5 min read
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The first day of summer officially arrives on June 20. But with school being out and temperatures reaching into the upper ’80s, it’s as good as here. Assuming the moth army retreats from our corner of the world some point soon, I expect the next 12 weeks or so to be the finest of the year. Here are 15 hot tracks to go with it. Listen here.

Aural Fixation

1) “Summertime” • The Zombies • The Zombies

Gershwin’s American jazz standard, written for Porgy and Bess , gently reinterpreted by a ghoulish ’60s British group

Aural Fixation

2) “(We Ain’t Got) Nothing Yet” • Blues Magoos • Easy Rider (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

Pioneering psychedelic Bronx band the Blues Magoos as heard in counterculture road trip movie
Easy Rider

Aural Fixation

3) “New Direction” • Black Lips • Arabia Mountain

“Going on a vision quest, surf the mountain, ride the crest …”

Aural Fixation

4) “Top Down” • Teenage Head • Teenage Head

A late ’70s song about a convertible from an Ontario punk / new wave band named after a Flamin’ Groovies track

Aural Fixation

5) “Rockaway Beach” • Ramones • Rocket to Russia

Joey sings about one of America’s largest urban beaches.

Aural Fixation

6) “Celebrated Summer” • Hüsker Dü • New Day Rising

Bittersweet proto-emo; a super buzzy summer lament

Aural Fixation

7) “Sunny Afternoon” • The Kinks • Face to Face

Anti-tax sentiment; dreaming about living the good life

Aural Fixation

8) “Little Honda” • The Beach Boys • All Summer Long

Everybody, including the Beach Boys, knows that the summer is the best time to ride two-wheeled motorized vehicles.

Aural Fixation

9) “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)” • Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel • The Best Years of Our Lives

This is the happiest, most cathartic glam rock song ever written, despite its vindictive lyrics.

Aural Fixation

10) “Christine’s Tune” • The Flying Burrito Brothers • The Gilded Palace of Sin

Psychedelic country has a warm-weather feel

Aural Fixation

11) “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” • The Who • My Generation (Deluxe Edition)

Roger Daltrey plays Martha Reeves.

Aural Fixation

12) “Peaches” • The Stranglers •  Rattus Norvegicus

A lecherous song about girl-watching at the beach, circa ’77

Aural Fixation

13) “Love Is a Wave” • Crystal Stilts • “Love Is a Wave” / “Sugarbaby” 7-inch

Oceanic metaphor atop neo post-punk surf guitar

Aural Fixation

14) “The Summer” • Yo La Tengo • Fakebook

Mellow and jangly with a nostalgic doo-wop feel

Aural Fixation

15) “Summertime” • Girls • Album

A track that encourages taking full advantage of summer’s many blessings

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