As I started writing this article, I thought to myself, do people still go on road trips? Are they called road trips in Europe? Is anyone even reading this?
I haven’t had the chance to take a road trip in a while, so this article is more fiction than non-fiction/reality, but for those of you who are packing up your car to head to Montauk or Provence, or wherever it is you’re headed, here are some incredible tunes to get you there.
Ben Daddy Kan – “City Lights (Bring Me Down)”
Nothing but good vibes happening here from Australian musician and producer Ben Daddy Kan. The tune is catchy, indie-rock at its finest, that instantly transports you to Hawaii or in my case, back to Bali, where I belong.
Connie Danger – “Coming of Age”
The track “Coming of Age” is an 80’s pop dream, and is best served on long strips of highway (or sitting poolside with a Corona). The lyrics are downright universal—we’ve all been there, or are there now—and the instrumentals of this dream-pop tune are catchy and happy. You just feel good listening to this track—that’s what music should do, right?
Velvet Starlings – “Kids in Droves”
Los Angeles-based artist Velvet Starlings channels 1960’s garage rock and pop bands with this uber rad tune “Kids in Droves.” Anchored by an infectious organ hook reminiscent of The Doors, the song’s lyrics focus on the modern-day conflict between our own existence and our endless need for validation by social media. Also, since we are on the topic, has anyone else seen “Ingrid Goes West?”
Tipling Rock – “Partly Sorry”
This epic new suf-pop track from Tipling Rock is so damn perfect for a road trip through Big Sur or from New York to Montréal. It’s got an upbeat tempo, lyrics that are so relatable it’s scary, Juno pads, chorused guitars, and chill vocals. Also best-served pool or beach-side. Tipling Rock is summer.
Summer Salt – “Honeyweed”
If you listen to no other song the rest of this summer, the tune “Honeywood” from Summer Salt is defo it. Based in Austin, TX, Summer Salt blends vibrant yet breezy vocal harmony and colorful elements of 1960s pop, Bossa Nova and jazz. Plus, that falsetto is better than a pineapple juice mixed with gin. And, that comes from the heart. Listen to “Honeyweed” below.
Glow! – If It Were Me
Sometimes (well, often) when you’re on a road trip, you find yourself listening to a podcast or an album that has commentary—things that take away the monotony of the journey, and allow you to finally stop having to talk to whoever you are on the trip with. I think this track by Glow! is a great intro into that change of pace, with their tune “If It Were Me.” The track is upbeat, slightly funny, and is a nice deviation from all of the surf rock and surf pop you were listening to before this.
Hernandez – “Magical Sad News”
Oslo-based Hernandez is a young indie-rock band that just entered the music scene with their airy debut single, “With You.” The follow up to that tune is this catchy indie track à la Mac DeMarco and boy pablo. “Magical Sad News” gives you introverted lyrics and a restless soundscape that is mildly cinematic—serve this up for those road trips through earthy, greener pastures. Or just anywhere in Scandinavia.
Fins ‘n’ Tins – “Road to Rhossili”
UK-based Fins ‘n’ Tins have made you fine folks on the Left Bank the perfect West Coast surf rock track with “Road to Rhossili”—so much so, that I’m not even sure if they are from the UK. Isn’t it rainy and cold there? These guys have to be from Melbourne or Canggu. Honestly, just be honest with me. How do you sound so happy? How are your vibes so radical? Where is your ukelele?
This track must be played in your car during your road trip up to Big Sur.
Soft People – “Tender”
This synth-pop track from Soft People is enough to make you stop what you are doing and get up and dance, literally immediately. They are self-described as ‘a couple of gays make a couple of songs. That’s it. The whole story. Good night.” And honestly, sometimes that’s all you need. It’s the kind of track that gets you through a long stretch of highway just be careful because dancing and driving never goes as well as you think it will. Speaking from experience.