Sophie’s Summer Playlists: Alternative anthems and classic throwbacks

Aug. 14, 2018, 12:15 a.m.

As the end of summer draws near, it’s time to explore new music and make the most of the holidays and warm weather. Take a trip down memory lane, chill with some mellow vibes and jam to some boppin’ beats with four playlists this summer.


Playlist #1: Mellow Melodies

Celebrate summer relaxation with everything from brooding alternative to lyrical hip-hop on our Mellow Melodies playlist. De-stressing with these mellow beats is the perfect way to explore new styles this summer. If you’re stuck at the desk all day or just need a carefree playlist for chilling by the pool, transcend your usual music with our version of an organic, stress-free playlist.

Notable Tracks:

“Revvin’ My Cj7” by Summer Salt

Summer Salt’s softly sung track on their EP, “So Polite,” channels a dialed-down version of The Beach Boys’ funky island atmosphere. With music they describe as “oldies doo wop indie rock & roll surf bossa nova,” Summer Salt wouldn’t dare harsh your mellow this summer.

“Aya” by Kweku Collins, Allan Kingdom

Unpretentious, reflective rap is hard to come by in a time where trap dominates the top charts, yet Kweku Collins employs his lyrical rapping prowess and flaming imagery to create a truly fire song for summer.

“Feels Like Summer” by Childish Gambino

Gambino is back again after “This is America” with a less politically charged — yet equally artistic  — single, “Feels Like Summer.” Stylistically similar to his recent album, “Awaken, My Love!,” Gambino’s newest track sizzles with anticipation for better summer days ahead.


Playlist #2: Adventurous Alternative

Expand your musical horizons this summer by tuning in to the Adventurous Alternative playlist. Featuring tracks from off the beaten path, you won’t find any of these songs on the radio. However, this playlist is perfect to turn up on road trips with friends or blast through headphones on a jog around campus. Kick off your shoes after a long summer day and immerse yourself in new songs from emerging artists. Whether these songs are completely fresh or old news for you, crank up the volume and start adventuring.  

Notable Tracks:

“Ride or Die (feat. Foster the People)” by The Knocks, Foster the People

Sung by Foster the People’s frontman, Mark Foster, “Ride or Die” epitomizes the carefree vibe necessary for every adventure. Think “background music for a cheesy beach movie montage,” add slightly affected indie vocals, and you have The Knocks’ “Ride or Die.”

“Fallingwater” by Maggie Rogers

Rogers’ soulful voice combined with an unwavering drum beat unexpectedly turns a love lamentation into an upbeat jam you’ll be singing along to in no time.

“Talia” by King Princess

King Princess delivers one of the best breakup songs of the summer in her debut album, “Make My Bed.” With snaps and bass drops sharp enough to cut King Princess’ ex-lover, “Talia” serves up a hot summer bop.


Playlist #3: Upbeat Heat

Summer music playlists are traditionally light and peppy for a reason: summer is a time to relax from school and responsibilities – and for some, to take a break from work to travel. This playlist is filled with the newest upbeat music from all over the popularity spectrum. And don’t worry about these songs getting old – these unique tracks from your favorite artists are so fresh, they haven’t yet made it to the radio.

Notable Tracks:

“Eastside (with Halsey & Khalid)” by benny blanco, Halsey, Khalid

Halsey and Khalid teamed up with Benny Blanco to make what could be the pop song of the summer. Listen to it now before it hits the radio and gets overplayed.

“Strangers” by Sigrid

Norwegian singer and BBC’s Sound of 2018 winner Sigrid shines in her most popular single, “Strangers.” As a tune about relationships not ending up the way they appeared, Sigrid turns a melancholy theme into a song so danceable, it made its way into the UK top 40.

“Best Life (feat. Chance the Rapper)” by Cardi B, Chance the Rapper

While we all know Cardi B from every radio station that doesn’t play instrumental music, experience her less popular collab with Chance the Rapper on the Upbeat Heat playlist.


Playlist #4: Summer Stroll

For those of us who don’t have the summer months off of work and school, finding the time to relax and reflect is often quite difficult. If you’re struggling to take a break, we have compiled a playlist perfect for strolling around Stanford’s campus and the beautiful Bay Area. Travel back in time with tunes ranging from Nat King Cole to Chicago, and from Ella Fitzgerald to Prince. It’s impossible for this playlist not to fill you with pure joy as you bask in the afternoon sun. Sometimes, reminiscing is the perfect escape.

Notable Tracks:

“Orange Colored Sky” by Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole’s masterpiece splashes the world with a bubbling piano and soothing vocals, perfectly mimicking the sunsets you’ll be strolling under this summer.

“Kodachrome” by Paul Simon

Get groovy with Paul Simon’s 1973 banger, destined to put a hop, bop or doo-wop in your step. Simon paints pictures with his soft vocals as a drum kit lays down the beat to create the summer song you never knew you needed.

“Raspberry Beret” by Prince

If songs could be national treasures, “Raspberry Beret” fits the bill. Prince’s trademark ethereal sound bursts through on this track, forcing you to belt out every chorus.


Contact Sophie Kroesche at so3.james14 ‘at’

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