The Buzz

An essential summertime song list

Categories: Music

Beach umbrellaA summer playlist sets the perfect musical backdrop for warmer weather. (Getty Images)

The temperature's rising. Patio umbrellas are unfurling across the country. Summer is officially here.

What better way to toast the sunny season than with a funky summer playlist?

In the video below, CBC's Laura Thompson offers her picks for a warm-weather musical score, whether you're headed for a rollicking beach BBQ, invigorating forest hike or just a lazy day on the lake.

Download Flash Player to view this content.





Also, check out these other suggestions from CBC Arts and CBC Music staffers for additional tunes to craft your own perfect summer playlist.

  • The Man by Omar is my song of the summer because it's a bouncy buoyant tune, as light as a summer breeze with a jazzy swagger in its step. And he is the man. (Eli Glasner, CBC Arts)

  • The Way by 19-year-old Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande, featuring rapper Mac Miller, is a surprise hit, mostly because nobody over 12 has ever heard of her. It's a simple pop song - reminiscent of early Mariah Carey, but without the vocal gymnastics. The perfect song for summer cruising. (Dave Shumka, CBC Music)

  • The innovative Burlington, Ont., group Walk Off the Earth delivers Beach Boys-style harmonies, a sunny melody and a simple sun-and-sand video in Summer Vibe. (Susan Noakes, CBC Arts)

  • We can always count on bands from Sweden to churn out a solid summer jam! I'm Not Going To Grow Old by Club 8 reminds me of Madonna's Holiday, infused with a little extra disco. Perfect for groovin' first thing in the morning! (Zulekha Nathoo, CBC Arts)

  • I know - who chooses Brooklyn barons of gloom The National as her summer music pick? Still, dig a little deeper and there is a great romance to be found behind Matt Berninger's melancholy baritone. Sea of Love, the first single off Trouble Will Find Me, goes down like a tall glass of iced tea in a darkened room after a hot summer day. (Deana Sumanac, CBC Arts)

  • Since Hootie and the Blowfish broke up, lead singer Darius Rucker has emerged as one of the biggest names in country music. His latest single is a cover of Wagon Wheel, a song originally sketched out by Bob Dylan but completed and recorded by Nashville's Old Crow Medicine Show. Rucker's take smoothes some of the edges. His popularity, coupled with the tune's natural charms (perfect for, say, a campfire sing-a-long on a starry night) could position Wagon Wheel as a sleeper for the song of summer 2013. (Brad Frenette, CBC Music)

  • I watched TV singing competition The Voice with my family and, in the finals, the amazing Michelle Chamuel (who should have won) and her coach Usher sang a duet: One by U2. Hearing their great cover (available on iTunes) sent me back to listen to the original from Achtung Baby, released in 1991. It's a great song for any summer. (Nigel Hunt, CBC Arts)

  • Walkin' on a Pretty Day by Kurt Vile is almost 10 minutes long. Who has that kind of time? But let's look at why this could be a marathon of a summer song. First, just look at the title. Second, it lives up to that title with a laid back, shimmering and twangy sound that sparkles like sunlight off a lake, perfect for your dockside idyll at the cottage or cruising the city in shorts and shades. Summer is too laid back a time to have to keep clicking the back button to hear more of your favourite song. (Mike Miner, CBC Music)

Tags: CBC Arts, CBC Music, playlist, summer songs

Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.