Happy July - when we celebrate our nation's birthday and freedom, and for many, take a trip out to the nearest body of water or light up the grill. Whether you will be road tripping or just kicking back at a party this year, no month calls for a perfect playlist more so than July. The following 11 songs are sure to offer everyone a little something for their July listening perusal.
11. Sufjan Stevens - “Fourth of July”
Sufjan Stevens brings audiences this stirring tune about heartbreak and evil. While July is generally a joyous month, Stevens reminds us that it's not always the case. Your heart may simply break alongside him as he closes out with repeats of "we're all gonna die." While everyone else may be chilling by the pool, Stevens is here to comfort those who are struggling inside.
10. The Decemberists - “July, July!”
It's hard to listen to The Decemberists' quirky "July, July!" without feeling as though you fell down the rabbit hole. What's next down the road, will it be a crooked Canadian uncle, or chickens in chains? This song is the perfect chance to marvel at such oddities as you make your summer road trip, so don't forget to add it to your playlist and look out for what weird things might be along your way.
9. Soundgarden - “4th of July”
Soundgarden's dark take on the epitome of summer holidays brings about feelings of the apocalypse. While the lyrics read about our world ending, Chris Cornell actually is noted for explaining that he wrote the track while on an acid trip. Even if drugs aren't part of your summer celebrations, this rocker is worth checking out.
8. Dixie Chicks - “Cold Day in July”
Country girl power group the Dixie Chicks are known for packing a powerful emotional punch, and here on "Cold Day in July" is no exception. Mourning a lover who has packed his bags and gone away, the Dixie Chicks are so sad that the cold has moved in on the warmest month of July. While their lover may have given them the cold shoulder, this song will warm your heart.
7. Fall Out Boy - “Fourth of July”
From their 2015 album American Beauty, Fall Out Boy bring this fist pumper about the warmth of summer, and the drama of young love. For Fall Out Boy, the fireworks may have gone off too soon, but for the listener, they are right here in this song. You'd have to be hard pressed to not want to get up and rock out to this one.
6. Ocean Colour Scene - “July”
British group Ocean Colour Scene's "July" was featured in the television series "Lock, Stock..." and is the perfect song about escaping it all. When the going gets tough, make like Ocean Colour Scene and get away to somewhere over the clouds, with snow on the windows in July. We might not ever figure out just where they've gone (Mt. Everest maybe?), but the song is sure a fun jam.
5. 311 - "Sunset in July”
When you just want to mellow out, there is 311. What is better than watching the day fade away into sunset come July? 311 is getting high watching her dance; what you do to this song is up to you, but it couldn't be more perfectly placed than on your July playlist, especially if catching a 311 show is on your radar for the year.
4. Uriah Heep - "July Morning"
English rockers Uriah Heep have crafted one of the few July songs not concentrated around Independence Day, instead offering this slow ride that perfectly sails through a warm summer day, occasionally breaking into full on rock-out status. Fun fact: the song is actually tied in to the Bulgarian celebration of "July morning," a tradition we all need to add to our Pinterest boards asap.
3. John Vanderslice - "June, July"
Summertime in the south is so well captured here by John Vanderslice: long grass, cicadas, thunderstorms, and the warmth of the sun. This beautiful song would be perfect played from a hammock with a glass of lemonade, watching the clouds roll by. Vanderslice has captured a little piece of summer heaven, and our job is to enjoy it.
2. Tony Joe White - "One Hot July"
"One Hot July" is an epic track by Tony Joe White, capturing the slow summers of children running barefoot. The song turns into a slow jam, with White reminiscing of the way things used to be. Perhaps this track will be an inspiration for you to slow down a little and make like the barefoot kiddos used to do.
1. Bruce Springsteen - “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”
Bruce Springsteen brings us a classic here, perfectly capturing one summer night in the world of the New Jersey shore. Lit by boardwalk lights and fireworks, Springsteen's love isn't going to last very long - but what a picture he paints while it does. You can sit back with your feet in the sand and live the July of kids from years past, all thanks to Springsteen.