Essential Playlist (Vol. II): Songs for a Summer’s Evening

Summer is in full swing and I am back with a treat for your ears. I encourage a dance move or two…or three!!

It has truly been a whirlwind season. As August begins, I am compelled to curate a perfect summer night’s playlist, but also sitting here wondering how it got to be August so quickly! This playlist is perfectly suited for a backyard canopied in white lights, citronella candles, cozy old blankets cast over chairs and singing insects.

Whether you’ll be taking in the night sky, hosting a backyard shindig or simply cooking with all the windows open (my favorite thing to do) this evening, turn up the volume and enjoy this second dreamy mix!!

As always, here are the two links to enjoy the Essentials (Vol. II) as you read the tidbits I’ve included to set the mood:

YouTube – Essential Playlist (Vol. II) – features some fun music videos

Spotify – Essential Playlist (Vol. II) – *recommended* for highest quality

Devendra Banhart – Tit Smoking in the Temple of Artesan Mimicry

Picture it: It’s the end of a joyful afternoon, beginning of chilled out evening. This one minute song, written by a beautiful soul, sets the mood for the greatness to come as day turns to night.

Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

“Every part of me says go ahead.”

Equally pump up song, as it is a chill out song. This is usually exactly how the perfect summer night feels, is it not? Admittedly hip, sure, but about as hip psychedelia as they come. Ya dig?

Lesley Gore – You Don’t Own Me

“Don’t tie me down, I would never stay.”

Original queen of the party and positive affirmation enthusiast, Miss Lesley Gore, if you please.  A voice so strong and sweet deserves your ears and high volumes, at any/every summer shindig. As a Smash Records recording artist, Miss Gore’s song recalls a simpler time and stands the test of time.

Mazzy Star – Be My Angel

“Bringing the night into day.”

With a catalog of (gorgeous!) sad songs, the few that speak most to a pretty summer’s night are those that feature a few major chords and their signature slide guitar tones. Hope Sandoval should be crowned goddess of the late night porch sit. It really doesn’t get much dreamier.

Pavement – Range Life

“The night is just hummin’.”

A summer playlist without a little Pavement wouldn’t really be a summer playlist, would it? This song is the anthem for the city kids who’ve spent the summer itching to get out to the country, to enjoy fields of wild flowers and a slower pace. I love my neighbors and my city, but totally feel what Stephen is riffing about here!

Destroyer – Kaputt

“…through the back rooms of the world, all night.”

Destoryer’s Dan Bejar has one of the warmest voices, of living rock star’s, I can think of. This album reminds me of a John Hughes film score and it remains one of my favorites since the 2011 release. The title track of the album is sure to make any summer night more charming.

The Raveonettes – I Wanna Be Adored

“Please adore me.”

Endless amounts of dreamy surf guitar and synthesizer, on this magical cover song. Listen close and you’ll hear the sound of falling back into a pile of cozy old blankets and pillows, gathered in the backyard, to gaze at the summer sky and manifest some good, good shit. Umm, who doesn’t love to be adored?!

Lykke Li – I Know Places

“Don’t ask me how, but ask me when.”

This one is for slow dancing, at the end of a full day, and whispering sweetly about the places you want to go before the season’s end. It brings up thoughts of hidden trails, picking wildflowers, watering holes and windswept fields of grass. This one is for the dreamy wanderers!

Feist – I’m Not Running Away

“We watch the moon rise…”

She’s back and badder than ever! With serious undertones of overcoming sadness, while never, ever giving up, this has been my summer anthem. I was so freakin’ excited to hear new music from indie queen, Feist. The new album is, in my opinion, the best thing she’s ever done. Enjoy this one loud and then enjoy it again!

Michael Kiwanuka – Waterfall (May This Be Love)

“My worries seem so very small.”

Here we have another cover, one of the best I’ve ever come by, in fact. This man is a legend in the making. If you’ve not yet dug into his music I highly recommend seeking some out ASAP. I’ve been totally hooked on Kiwanuka’s music most of the year, but it’s taken on a new power with the sunny days of summer. ‘Waterfall’ always makes me think of that scene in the ’90s film Singles – a summer night getting to know someone new and beating the heat.

The Doors – Indian Summer

“Better than all the rest.”

Obviously, this list would be incomplete without this groovy summer tune. The lyrics perfectly symbolize the love-hate relationship we have with the teasing last months of summer. A heady psychedelic song is the perfect choice for a summer night. Throw in some subtle pop vibes, courtesy of Jim’s vocal styling, and you just might have to play it twice.

Grant Lee Buffalo – Tecumseh

“All that he knew would fade.”

Here is a sort of hymnal for the end of summer. It has all of the necessary elements – a crooner, a banjo, a minimal drum set, an air organ and a strange story to tell around a fire. Imagine a serenade under the stars. Another one minute song, to close out this playlist, urging you to give thanks for all the beautiful days we’ve had to enjoy!



Hope you’re all having a rockin’ summer…



Stay cool, babes,

Elyn E.


Owner of Five & Dime Vintage – Detroit and Never Not Dreaming Blog

Five & Dime Vintage – Detroit

P.S. The music featured in this article, is the property of the artist and the artist alone. I love every song featured within, but I of course in no way claim any right to publish. Without these incredible artists, I would not be sharing my love of the arts with you. Thanks again for reading!

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