Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Summer Playlist Edition

There are few occasions that demand a soundtrack more than a summer road trip. As the days’ heat up, we took the liberty of assembling a set of liberating tunes befitting of a vernal adventure.presspass_sara

There are few occasions that demand a soundtrack more than a summer road trip. As the days’ heat up, we took the liberty of assembling a set of liberating tunes befitting of a vernal adventure.

presspass_sara

Sara Watkins (Photo: Jeremy Cowart)

“Found” by Honor By August: This windows-down, scream-the-lyrics-and-ignore-the-“your-crazy”-looks-of-passersby track gets things started by setting a tone of limitless possibility. After all, the best summer road trips don’t always have a destination.
“Right Moves” by Josh Ritter: While The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter isn’t quite as celebrated as his previous LP, the masterpiece Animal Years, this hidden gem keeps shining. With its brash backing horns and the compliment of a string section, “Right Moves” reminds me of Roy Orbison’s best work. But more importantly for this particular playlist, it reflects a lightheartedness and playfulness that sets it perfectly as a song of the road. You can even put this playlist into action and travel down to Richmond on May 28 for his show at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
“Miss Me” by Joe Purdy: Ah, the summer romance. Not everything about the season is all beaches and rainbows. This reflection on a past romance will rekindle memories of your own summer loves. The crystal clear, rapid-fire remembrances in the final verse summarize why we love Purdy so much, and why he’s perfect for this mix.
“Now I hear you’re in love with some big city man / and together you’re making your big city plans / and you hope he don’t find out about who you are / that we used to catch fireflies in mason jars / and we used to go down to the county fair / and we listened to blue grass in summer air / and we danced all night as the rain came down / and you held my hand as we slept on the ground / and we wrote our names in the old oak wood / I guess some things don’t work out like they should.”
“Way Up”  by Shane Hines & The Trance: We love how the soaring chorus illustrates the season’s up-and-down nature. Hines is on a road trip of his own this month, heading out to L.A., but he’ll be back for his date at Jammin’ Java May 31 for the  Songwriter circle. If you have just one time to catch him though, no summer setting could be better than the ARC Waterfront Festival in Alexandria with Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers.
“Hold on to the Mystery” by Luke Brindley: Speaking of summer romances, Brindley fits that feeling with this Marc Cohn-like tune that also compares favorably to The Boss’s “Secret Garden.” Gotta love the adventurous sentiment Brindley provides with the line “No directions, no map / no lines, no signs / Just two hearts on fire / as the danger climbs.”
“The Future’s Nothing New” by The Alternate Routes: Some summer songs are best with the windows down. Others are better with them rolled up … and well fogged. This sexy track by The Alternate Routes (honestly, how apt is that name for a road trip mix) provides some additional heat for your long, hot summer.
“Long Hot Summer Day” by Sara Watkins: Because Coldplay doesn’t just ring right when you’re driving through Dixie, try out this tune with it’s way-down-south soul, deliberate drum beat that paints a perfect picture of the long, hot days’ labor your trying to avoid in your getaway car.