Lazy Summer Magic

"guitar girl" by Jane Heller - click for info

Ahh. The dog days of summer have arrived.

Here in Wisconsin, like much of the US, we are experiencing record-setting high temperatures and have just come from a June with the lowest recorded rainfall since 1895. When I started thinking about July’s post, I realized I wanted to bring my other great love to the Scoutie Girl community: music.

I have the lucky honor of co-hosting a weekly radio show on my community-run station, and thought it would be a blast to put together a short playlist for all of you out there. And don’t worry: if you’re in the southern hemisphere, in the throes of winter, this should help lift your spirits. Got Spotify? You can listen to the complete playlist here!

Lazy Summer Magic: Tunes for Hot Days & Cool Nights

Jungle Drum – Emiliana Torrini: Me and Armini
The driving beat of this song, combined with sing-along vocals, makes this perfect for a road trip or a day at the beach. Be warned: it will be in your head (and have you smiling) for days.

There And Back Again – Toshi Reagon: There And Back Again
A little mellow, but ever the magic from Toshi Reagon. A song about persevering, important to remember when we’re stuck inside working when it seems everyone else gets to play outside!

Take It Off – Ke$ha: Animal
I must admit: I’m not a huge Ke$ha fan. But this song is perfect for the Friday nights of summer, when it’s time to let all the cares go and just have fun.

I Love Rock N’ Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts: Greatest Hits [Disc 1]
Who doesn’t love rock n’ roll when it is sung by Joan Jett? Windows down, cruising the open road… You know what I mean.

The Cult of Dionysus – The Orion Experience: Cosmicandy
A friend introduced me to The Orion Experience, and their electric-pop sound has kept me going through summer, winter, and many late nights of writing. Let their excitement infect you.

All The Lovers – Kylie Minogue: Aphrodite
Pure dance music fun. Kylie Minogue (of 1980s pop fame) is now the queen of the dance club scene, and this just proves she can still bust a move. And probably get you to bust one, too.

Awake My Soul – Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More
I credit my friend Tor for introducing me to Mumford & Sons. Even though the group was already very famous, it was this song that made me listen twice to their lyrics and instrumentation. I can’t imagine making a playlist without this song.

Sing it Loud – k.d. lang & The Siss Boom Bang: Sing it Loud
This song is my anthem to being strong and proud in your own skin. When I heard k. d. lang perform it live this past May, I wrapped my heart up in it and haven’t let it go. Sing it LOUD.

I Feel The Earth Move – Carole King: The Essential Carole King [Disc 1]
Yes. Need I say more?

Sing Along (Feat. Dave Matthews) – Blue Man Group: The Complex
Blue Man Group has always fascinated me, with their wild live shows and their face paint. But this song is about more than just crazy, zany antics; it’s about coming together and sharing music. Something made for summer nights.

Matches To Paper Dolls – Dessa: A Badly Broken Code
I wouldn’t have, on first listen, called Dessa a “hip-hop” artist – but I’m learning that the genre comes in many forms. This song blows my mind and wrenches my heart every time I listen. A true writer’s musician, she continues to amaze.

Get Your Bike – God-Des & She: Three
Hailing from Wisconsin, this duo brings hard-hitting lyrics and real issues to their audiences. But sometimes, even bad-ass singers want to have fun. That’s what this song is all about: having fun.

I Was Made for Sunny Days – The Weepies: Be My Thrill
Often thought of as “kids’ musicians,” The Weepies have a broad message, and their music is great for enjoying a good book, background sound at a barbeque, or in the car while running errands. It will make you laugh, smile, and cry. This song might do all three.

I Just Found Out About Love – Sally De Broux: The Way Love Can Be
A brilliant jazz vocalist Sally de Broux takes jazz standards and re-invents them for the atypical jazz listener. Perfect for a dinner party or a backyard fire, jazz has never sounded so good.

Escape Artist – Zoe Keating: Into the Trees
Listen to this song while flying high in a tire swing. Or going down a really tall slide. This is both adventure and excitement, with the thrill of all possibility.

Beauty in the World – Macy Gray: Beauty in the World
Try to not dance to this Macy Gray song. I dare you. Just try…

Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell: Dreamland
Joni Mitchell is perhaps my favorite singer and songwriter. This one, about saving the environment and enjoying the beauty, is a great reminder for all the joy we can share in summer.

Share The Moon – Indigo Girls: Beauty Queen Sister
From their latest release, this is the song that will forever remind me of the best first date: gazing up at a clear night sky, flooded with stars, in the middle of farmland in south-central Wisconsin. Listen to this with the one you love and share all the memories that keep you together.

A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left – Andrew Bird: The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Andrew Bird does with stringed instruments what I can only dream to do as a writer. If you’ve never heard his music, check him out. And sit back in awe.

Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine: Lungs
No one wants to think about the end of summer, but it eventually does arrive. Let Florence + the Machine remind you of all the great memories you made this year with this driving beat and chorus just begging to be sung out loud.

Happy summer listening!

until next time,
Sara B

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