A good portion of us have already received the first taste of summer––days are longer and temperatures are warmer (apologies to the Rockies and the High Plains).  Yesterday I even went outside and washed my car, which means day-drinking on rooftop decks is just around the corner.  Since the official start of summer is over a month away, I’ve decided to share my 2015 Summer Amp-Up Playlist to get you all ready.  My most recent incarnation has deep roots in the ever-broad genre of Indie Pop, a category that most of my favorite artists can fall into.  A portion of my favorite songs from years past have stuck, in addition to newer music by artists such as Big DataLuxleyMilo GreeneShoshana Bean, and Walk the Moon.  Also, yes, the playlist closes with ABBA‘s epic 1979 single, “Summer Night City.”

Move past the jump for artists you should be listening for.


Milo Greene, “On The Fence” (from 2015’s Control LP) – The Los Angeles natives prove you can make trust issues and second-guessing a new relationship fun to dance about.

The Sounds, “The No No Song” (from 2011’s Something to Die For LP) – Infectious surf rock guitar hooks perfectly compliment lead vocalist Maja Ivarsson’s cutting delivery of the lyrics.  IMHO, most of The Sounds‘ music will get you ready for summer.

Shoshana Bean, “Runaway Train” (from 2014’s Runaway Train single) – Bean channels Tina Turner on this catchy, driven track which was released acoustically on her Shadows to Light EP.  Toe-tapping and fist-pumping may ensue.

Luxley, “Spirit” (ft. Nora Patterson; from 2015’s You Are The Spirit EP) – New Orleans native Luxley’s self-described “wildfire dance rock” may force you to dance in your cubicle like you’re letting loose on the beach.  I apologize to your co-workers in advance.

Blondfire, “Waves” (from 2014’s Young Heart LP) – Brother/sister duo Blondfire effortlessly capture what it feels like to drive around Southern California with your windows down in this almost ethereal track.

Big Data, “Clean” (ft. Jamie Lidell; from 2015’s 2.0 LP) – The “paranoid electronic music project” that scored a big hit with last year’s “Dangerous,” continues to make “distrust for technology” sound pretty damn awesome on this track featuring British soul singer Jamie Lidell.  You’re going to want to reach for the sunglasses after this one.

Fitz and The Tantrums, “Spark” (from 2013’s More Than Just A Dream LP) – One of the few songs by the group that actually implements a guitar section (I’m serious––now that you know this fact, you will listen to their catalog and be amazed) threatens that “[your] speaker is about to explode.”  This won’t stop you from turning up the volume.

Circa Waves, “T-Shirt Weather” (from 2015’s Young Chasers EP) – Liverpool-based Circa Waves perfectly describe lazy summer days in this song.  Now that summer is upon us, you won’t even have to “remember” the “T-Shirt Weather!”

ABBA, “Summer Night City” (from 1978’s Summer Night City 7″ Single) – Many remember ABBA for “Dancing Queen,” Mamma Mia! and outrageous costumes (by the way––the costumes were in response to a tax regulation in Sweden).  Behind the spandex and sequins were four incredibly talented musicians.  Flavored by disco, “Summer Night City” was inspired by the “Midnight Sun” phenomenon in Scandinavia.  It’s a track that ABBA was never 100% happy with.


Written by Conor

Photojournalist based in Philadelphia. Occasional writer. Always wondering what became of Luke Skywalker's X-Wing after he arrived at Cloud City.

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