Turn Up the Music: Playlists for your summer of wonder

By Jasmine Jones

When I listen to Lana Del Rey’s “Lust for Life” album, I see my teenage self, strapped into my parents’ mini van’s backseat, staring out the window at a blur of Californian desert. My family was returning from a road trip to Los Angeles that summer when she released the album, and I listened to the wistful “13 Beaches” and moody “Summer Bummer” songs on my iPod touch as the sandy desert outside the van turned to red rock, turned to city, turned to golden prairie as wide as the sky. I re- member how everything felt possible as I looked out that window. Landscape could change dramatically, quickly, within a few miles, and so could I, so could my life.

Honestly, “Lust for Life” is my least favorite Lana album, but I love it because of its connection to this transformative trip taken the summer before my senior year of high school. I love it because the music outlines those memories, thoughts, fears and dreams. Those 16 songs on the album bring me back to that girl in the minivan; they help me to remember and to move forward.

This is the beauty of music. Artists create songs often inspired by their emotions and stories, but when we listen to them, we layer on our own experiences and feelings; we braid them into our life stories, song by song and day by day.

So, here are a few playlists I’ve curated for you to live your life to. They’re created with specific experiences and feelings in mind, but let them be a backdrop for your summer of wonder, whatever that may look like.

Listen alone. Or with friends. Or with everyone you’ve ever known. It’s up to you. For the best listening, take the backroads, turn up the music and roll down the windows. All of them.


Humid Firefly Nights in the Backyard

Vibes: Ballads and wistful songs that evoke nostalgia, childhood, lost love or all of the above.

The Suburbs, Arcade Fire

Always Forever, Cults

seven, Taylor Swift

All My Love, Noah Kahan

Are You Bored Yet? (feat. Clairo), Wallows, Clairo

august, Taylor Swift

Chateau (Feel Alright), Djo

Two Weeks, Grizzly Bear

The Night We Met, Lord Huron

Reach Out, Sufjan Stevens, Angelo De Augustine

My Love Mine All Mine, Mitski

Eighteen, beabadoobee

Flightless Bird, American Mouth, Iron & Wine


Spontaneous Road Trip to An Ocean, Any Ocean
Vibes: Upbeat indie pop, surf rock and other songs that got an ocean sway to them.

Revvin’ My Cj7, Summer Salt

I Got This Feeling That Won’t Let Go, Post Sex Nachos

Mako, Ax and the Hatchetmen

Let My Baby Stay, Mac DeMarco

Ocean Avenue, Yellowcard

Shaking, Hazel English

Lucky Girl, Fazerdaze

Time Machine, WILLOW

Mood Ring, Lorde

Candy Wrappers, Summer Salt

Summer’s Over, Jordana, TV Girl

Backyard Boy, Claire Rosinkranz

Home, Vacations


Chatting Up Your Neighbor at the Church Picnic
Vibes: Lil’ country, lil’ folksy, and filled with light and lovely acoustics. Plus, some classics and bops.

Buy You Flowers, Dawson Hollow

Lovely Day, Bill Withers

Another Story, The Head And The Heart

Like The Dawn, The Oh Hellos

Dreams, Fleetwood Mac

Let The Light In (feat. Father John Misty), Lana Del Rey

Pretty Girl from Missouri, Dawson Hollow

Awake My Soul, Mumford & Sons

Take Me Home, Country Roads, John Denver

In Dreams, Sierra Ferrell


Put Your Records On, Corinne Bailey Rae

Down in the Valley, The Head And The Heart


Listen to these playlists on the flourish Spotify. Then, join our Patreon community at the $5, $10 or $20 per month level for access to an exclusive bonus playlist titled “Collecting Wildflowers in the Mountains.”


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