No matter what Summer means to you, whether it be picnics and barbeques with the family, swimming with your friends, drinking cold brews in the stifling heat, watching baseball with your Pops, or catching every blockbuster to hit the silver screen with your significant other, there are always specific songs that stand out in your mind as auditory representations of Summer.
To coincide with the official first day of Summer, UTG is happy to bring you this special double-track playlist that our staff has compiled of our favorite songs that represent our most memorable Summers or that we simply just enjoy listening to more so during those unbearably hot Summer months. Listen, share, and most importantly, enjoy!
James Shotwell- Founder/Co-Owner
The Ataris – “The Boys Of Summer”
For me, this is the quintessential Summer song. Love, memories, sun, and fun are laced through every heartbreaking verse and the chorus is one not a soul can forget. When you hear “Boys Of Summer” out of season, you dream of the beach and when you plan road trips, it’s always atop the playlist. Either version works. Just sing your heart out.
Fireworks – “The Wild Bunch”
If I could go back in time and rewrite my youth, Fireworks would supply the soundtrack.
Matthew Dondiego – News Contributor
The Story So Far – “Quicksand”
Nothing says summertime like so good ol’ fashioned pop punk. The Story So Far are one of the fastest rising acts out there and their tracks never sound better than when blasted on the way down to the beach.
Basement – “Crickets Throw Their Voice”
While this emo punk group may not be the first band that comes to mind when thinking of summer jams, this band will forever be associated with my past summer. Releasing their full length I Wish I Could Stay Here last July, Basement completely took over my summer listening, basically becoming the soundtrack for the hottest months of the year.
Adrian Garza – News Contributor/Reviewer
Norma Jean – “A Small Spark vs. A Great Forest”
I know, this is kind of an unorthodox pick for a summer playlist, but think of it like this: If your first ever secret show that you ever attended was a Norma Jean show, that would definitely make for an unforgettable summer.
Set Your Goals – “The Fallen”
This song just spells out that bouncy, hectic, speedy feeling that is my regular summer vacation. On my first day home from college, the first album that I played in my car was This Will Be the Death of Us. I can’t help but think about Warped Tour when I listen to any song off of this album; there’s that much nostalgia to it.
Grant Trimboli – Chief Operations Manager/Co-Owner
Alice Cooper – “School’s Out”
The first day of summer break has finally arrived and caution is thrown to the wind. With Alice Cooper’s 1972 hit “School’s Out,” you get the gritty vocals and badass attitude mixed in with some heavy guitar distortion. This song is the first song I think of when school is officially over and done.
Incubus – “Wish You Were Here”
Incubus’ entire Morning View album could be placed as one of my personal favorites and the standout track is definitely summertime worthy. The introduction of “Wish You Were Here” provides a calm and carefree lifestyle, acoustic and electric guitars, and plenty of imagery depicting the amazing weather. Incubus created a musical beast with this song.
Brian Lion – Interviewer/Editor
Emery – “Walls”
“Walls” was my summer of 2005. Yes, The Weak’s End was released in 2004 but I didn’t see Emery live for the first time until Warped Tour 2005 and it was a fucking blast. That entire Summer after I got out of high school was an endless cycle of jam sessions, going to shows, and partying. This song/album was still in constant rotation for me at the time and stands out most vividly in my mind.
Phantom Planet – “California”
First off, I’ve literally never seen an episode of The OC, nor will I ever. As a California native and a heterosexual with a Jason Schwartzman guy crush, this song reminds me of every summer I’ve been alive. I’ve been up an down the 101 too many times to count with friends on road trips to San Francisco for some of the best shows I’ve had the opportunity to experience. The chorus to “California” has been the cause of so many lost voices; mine is no exception.
Kriston McConnell – News Contributor/Reviewer
Paramore – “Emergency”
I know I know, how girly of me, but hey I first heard of Paramore during the summer (Warped Tour to be exact) when their album All We Know Is Falling was out. This was the first song of theirs I ever heard, and I continued listening to it for quite some time after. That album, as well as the band itself always reminds me of hot, summery days and a killer sunburn on my tattoos
Greeley Estates – “The End Of All We Know”
This is another band I heard about either from a friend, or saw at Warped Tour one year. I was just getting into screamo, and I listened to that song so many times. It’s a fun song, and a far cry from what they are doing today (not a bad thing). Sometimes it’s nice to just sit and listen to the music a band started with, that’s a great way to understand where they are going.
Jacob Tender – Managing News Editor/Co-Owner
Fall Out Boy – “Of All The Gin Joints In All The World”
Nothing in this world instills the feeling of nostalgia and summer in me like the ripping introduction to this 2005 banger. This is one of my earliest summer-time favorites and a mainstay on car-ride mixtapes.
Four Year Strong – “Wasting Time (Endless Summer)”
Summertime and pop-punk go hand in hand. One cannot truly exist without the other. It’s a mutualistic relationship. In summer of 2010, Four Year Strong dominated my summer with Enemy Of the World and this single.
Kellie Gannon – Head of Photography/News Contributor
Incubus – “Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song)”
This song is one of my favorites, funky & versatile. Used to listen to this on repeat while driving around after dusk searching for things to keep my teenage self occupied. And also, who doesn’t want a summer romance? Or at least toy with the notion of one? Just saying. This song is sexy.
Matt & Kim – “Daylight”
Can’t even put into words how much this song rocks. Especially when you’re in the car, on a road trip, blasting it repeatedly, and you feel so incredibly free. Seeing this song performed live this past summer & witnessing just how much fun this band has with their music solidified my love even more. Upbeat, fun, charismatic, reminds me of sunscreen, sunshine, & a large body of water. If you don’t like this song, you’re missing out on life, & we probably aren’t friends anyway because you’ll prohibit me from listening to this 18 times in a row, & then some. Blast this & live a little.
Tyler Osborne – News Contributor/Reviewer
Fireworks – “The Wild Bunch”
This song is the Summer of 2011. I’ve sang this song so many times, at the top of my lungs on long drives home to the point where this song defines my friends and I. “At least now I know that what I have was built by the people I love. You wish you loved anything the way I love my friends,” still gives me the chills every single time I hear it. I cannot describe my love for this song being the sound of my summer.
The Wonder Years – “Washington Square Park”
Basically this song/album brought me back to listening to pop-punk. I listened to some really bad music in high school for a while, but it was this song that brought me back to what I grew up listening to. This song is the perfect song to sing at the top of your lungs with your best friends with all windows down.
Joshua Hammond – Reviewer/News Contributor
Eels – “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues”
How can you go wrong with an utterly depressing song with a poppy structure screaming “God damn right it’s a beautiful day?” Swear words and pretty experiences in an ugly world can not be topped.
The Ataris – “The Boys of Summer”
You can ding my overall score for picking a cover, but you can’t fault me for picking The Ataris. This band was the real deal, even after Kris Roe lost all his baby fat.
Justin Proper – Reasonable Remakes Columnist
311 – “Sunset in July”
As a middle school student, I can remember listening to 311 while counting calendar days to the end of school while waiting for the bus in the late days of May. Eventually, the days grew longer and classes would expire, allowing me the proper time I needed to learn to play the fluent Wah Pedal guitar solos found on their albums. This band paved the way for the rest of my life.
The Pixies – “Monkey Gone To Heaven”
The summer of my 11th year, my mom took me to a zoo on the east side of town. I made my way to the orangutan cage straight away, because I had recently seen Planet of the Apes and had grown into a rather heavy obsession with monkeys.Sadly, on this day, Betsy, the zoo’s oldest animal missed the top rung of the tree she was stretching for and plunged 50 feet to her untimely demise. I will never forget the look on her face as she lay there lifeless on the ground.
Man, that really stuck with me. Thanks mom.
Tori Thomas – News Contributor/Photography
3OH!3 – “I’m Not Your Boyfriend”
People may now judge me, but this song has so many summer memories for me. The first time I heard this song was when 3OH!3 was on Warped Tour in 2008. My friends and I decided to check out their set, and fell in love with their music and the fact you could dance and go crazy. 3OH!3′s music was the soundtrack to the summer of 2008. Go ahead and judge me, that song is a classic in my book.
Phantom Planet – “California”
Whoever doesn’t know of the song “California” must not have watched The OC or has never heard of Phantom Planet. The piano at the beginning of the song sets the mood for this summer classic. I truly love Phantom Planet, but I didn’t get turned on to their music until May of 2008, when they were on tour with Panic! At The Disco, Motion City Soundtrack, and The Hush Sound (Honda Civic Tour); I fell in love with their sound and songs. After the show, they performed acoustically in a circle for a crowd of 20 people and that’s when they finally won me over. It’s a shame, right when I really got into them, they went on hiatus.
Dane Sager – What The Film?! Columnist
Transplants – “DJ DJ”
This song came out when I was in highschool and my group of friends clung to it like an anthem. The entire premise of being able to do anything you want and no one being able to bring you down (because you’re so totally awesome) resonates easily with a teenager. While I stopped being a 15 year old punk kid, the song always makes me think of summer and fun times.