The transitory allure of summer can come and go, but the music that accompanies such changes in weather, mentality, and life can last forever.
Summer anthems can make us feel alive, in love with the world and those in it, and ready to take on the expansive mystery of the universe. They can also be about loose morals and broken curfews. But either way, they evoke a certain feeling.
Summer anthems are empowering, freeing, and utterly boundless containing the command to set spirits soaring and radios cranking. We asked a handful of influential individuals in the music world to tell us what they’re rocking out to this summer.
Here were their answers:
Brian Baker | Minor Threat and Dag Nasty, Guitarist for Bad Religion
“My [summer song] would be “Grass” by XTC from their album ‘Skylarking’.”
Matt Sorum | Drummer of Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, and the Cult
“Kiss was my first concert at the age of 15 and set the tone for my life. It basically is a simple message — live life to the fullest and party everyday like it is your last.”
A.J. Jackson | Lead Singer of LA buzzband Saint Motel
Megan Friend | Music Journalist for Meets Obsession Magazine
“When thinking about my summer anthem, one song in particular comes to mind. One that has resonated with me since the first moment I heard it years ago. “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve.
Anyone who has heard the provoking first notes of “Bittersweet Symphony” pierce through their car speakers can agree. It’s as if you’re waiting for the radiance of life to begin. And this is exactly what summer is. It’s a time of transition and a time of freedom. And what better way to encapsulate change, life, death, and all those moments in between than through music “cause it’s a bitter sweet symphony this life…”
Nick Papageorge | Guitarist for thatwasthen
“Even though this is totally far-removed from my own musical style, one summer anthem that reminds me of my blissful college days and the ticking timebomb of summer excess is probably “My Girls” by Animal Collective.
The way the beat drops after the syncopated intro just screams “dance party,” even juxtaposed with the airy, Brian-Wilson-like vocals and the idealistic lyrics.”
Lonn Friend | Rock journalist and author of Life on Planet Rock and Sweet Demotion
“So many to choose from, Beach Boys alone composed several, but for pure high temperature anthemic elation, my pick is Van Halen’s “Beautiful Girls.” Launched by one of the most infectious guitar hooks ever laid down. Van Halen II hit the stores in January 1979 two months before I graduated UCLA. Perhaps that’s why the song still resonates so loudly in my L.A. born heart and soul. Freedom, females and rock n’ roll. Beautiful.”
Cyril Niccolai | Lead singer and guitarist of The Fairchilds
Trev Lukather |Musician and the talented son of guitar prodigy Steve Lukather