Brooks’ Soundtrack to Summer


Lukas Werner

These are ten songs that are absolute must-haves on any summer playlist.

Brooks Coleman, Staff Reporter

As spring gives way to summer, students everywhere are excited to be free from school for a few months and enjoy the sunny weather and long daylight hours. Here are a few songs that will accompany my summer. Enjoy!

“I. Pink Toes” — Childish Gambino

Let’s see … this song includes twittering birds in the background, a chorus about rainbows and sunshine, and guest vocals from Jhené Aiko. It sounds like summertime to me. Throw in beautiful keys and triumphant horns and you have a perfect summer song. 

Perfect For: Rolling down a hill in the grass.

“Be Sweet” — Japanese Breakfast

Want some sunny ‘80s throwback fun? Look no further than this track from Eugene, Ore.’s very own Japanese Breakfast. “Be Sweet” is the most popular song to date by the emerging, critically acclaimed star — better hop on the bandwagon while it’s still taking passengers.

Perfect For: Driving through downtown Portland.

“Slide” — Calvin Harris

Come on now — no summer playlist is complete without this classic. “Slide” is a staple of summer playlists everywhere, and it’s easy to hear why. Frank Ocean absolutely murders this track, although the members of Migos are still a worthwhile addition. Pair this with the wonderfully upbeat production, and you have a track that will be around for years to come.

Perfect For: A pool party.

“SIERRA NIGHTS” — Kevin Abstract

Kevin Abstract is becoming more and more of a mainstream artist, and for good reason. “SIERRA NIGHTS” shows the enigmatic artist at his very best, creating a sound and an experience that is both cinematic and relaxing. Ryan Beatty has a crucial contribution to this track as a guest, especially on the outro, where he takes the listener to another dimension.

Perfect For: Watching a sunset on your front porch.

“LAW OF AVERAGES” — Vince Staples

This is a bit of a selfish pick, but this song just reminds me so much of summer. I remember listening to it on the way to summer camp in the middle of July, when I was just getting into Vince Staples’ music, and being blown away by the creativity and catchiness that Staples and producer Kenny Beats were able to put on display.

Perfect For: Enjoying a glass of ice-cold lemonade.

“Good To Be Home” — Barney Artist

This song is like a group project where everybody does their part. Tom Misch kills the chorus, the guitar in the back is immaculate, and each verse brings something new to the table. There’s never a dull moment on this sun-soaked jam.

Perfect For: An afternoon barbecue.

“NEO” — Aminé

Portland-born Aminé continues to ascend, and “NEO” is another landmark of his artistic growth. The most-streamed song from his mixtape “TWOPOINTFIVE” has a laid-back, friendly, and inviting atmosphere, with Aminé’s irreverent sense of humor sprinkled throughout.

Perfect For: Strolling through your neighborhood on a sunny day.

“Biking” — Frank Ocean

You may have missed this single from Ocean, which didn’t end up appearing on an album. Well, let me introduce you to yet another hit from the reclusive singer. The song is a bit of a slow burner, with a piano-accompanied Jay-Z feature giving way to a rolling chorus from Ocean backed by a Tyler, The Creator feature and great guitar. 

Perfect For: Biking.

“After The Storm” — Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis and Tyler, The Creator continue to be an unstoppable duo, and this song off of Uchis’ 2018 debut album “Isolation” is certainly no exception. Uchis and Tyler display their excellent chemistry once again, with Uchis’ ethereal vocals perfectly complementing the gravelly, yet comforting voice of Tyler.

Perfect For: A picnic at your local park (preferably after a storm).

“Grapejuice” — Harry Styles

I had to include one song from Styles’ new album, “Harry’s House,” which is tailor-made for summer. “Grapejuice” is one of the biggest standouts on the record, and it’s easy to hear why. With its raspy guitar and gorgeous chorus, I only wish the song was longer.  

Perfect For: Picking flowers on a sunny afternoon.

Did you love these songs? Did you hate them? Which one was your favorite? What will you be putting on your summer playlist? Let us know in the comments.