Summer is here and for most of the world that means sunshine, beaches, and barbeques. The following list of artists from around the world will get you in the mood for tanning, relaxing, and enjoying your time off.
1. Hockey Dad
This Australian act has nailed the lo-fi indie rock sound. Like a fine wine with cheese, their album goes perfectly with a warm day at the beach. Make sure you bring your speaker, turn it up, and pump their song ‘I Need A Woman’ the next time you plan on making the most of a trip to the coast.
2. Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains
Formed in Bristol, England by Saintes, France native Frànçois Marry this band is very French, very poppy, and perfect for reveling in the happiness of the summer months. Most of the time I have no idea what he is saying because he is singing in French and I don’t mind at all. He is a master of writing pop songs and will most likely force you to go frolic in the sunshine after listening.
Although based in England, Guillemots are a truly international band. They have a guitar player from Brazil, a percussionist from Scotland, and a bass player from Canada. With a truly unique indie rock sound they exude both the strange and experimental nature of their rock and roll, but bring it together with familiar melodies and instruments. Overall they create another great sound to relax to as the cooling, afternoon summer breeze floats by.
4. José González
As much as summer is about getting up and going places, it is also about kicking your feet up and relaxing. This is what makes José González the perfect summer sound. Born and raised in Sweden from Argentinian parents, he creates an extremely unique neo-folk sound that is ideal for relaxing with a beer as the sunsets.
5. The Whitest Boy Alive
The more up-tempo side-project of Norwegian folk legends Kings of Convenience’s lead singer Erlend Øye. It is the kind of electronic music that is less about getting on the dance floor and pumping your fist, but more suited for grooving to around a bonfire on the beach.
This New Zealand quartet creates the perfect mood for the outdoors with their roots rock and roll. They have a collection of songs that both rocks pretty hard and strips down to folksier roots. I am a big fan of their debut album Go Go Chaos, which provides the perfect mood for a summertime hike through the mountains and woods.
7. Pascal Pinon
This Icelandic folk-pop duo is another group less about getting up and going to the beach and more about quietly relaxing around a campfire with your friends. They’ve created the perfect, ethereal sound for sitting in the forest at night before settling into your sleeping bag under the stars.
8. Born Ruffians
Toronto’s Born Ruffians are all about being clever, catchy, and unbelievably endearing. This is what you put on when you are done watching the sunset and are ready to start dancing around the fire. I know from experience that they are a band that will undoubtedly get the party started.
9. Stone Cold Fox
If I had to pick one song that is already my personal summer jam it would be this Brooklyn based rock and roll outfit’s hit ‘American’. The great thing is that besides this song the rest of their catalogue is also very good, especially the album they released last year. Next time you take a road trip, roll down the windows and enjoy.
10. Kim Churchill
Another Australian musician. This guy is what summertime is all about. He sounds like if Jack Johnson went on a life changing adventure through the Himalayas and then came back and made an album about his time in the mountains. His sound is what summer is all about, getting up and going on adventures, but also relaxing and taking the time to stop and look around.
I recognize the irony in including artists from New Zealand and Australia, who are currently not enjoying the same summer season as the rest of the musicians on the list. But even though the world is divided by seasons, beautiful music is a force that can effectively bring everyone together no matter what time of year it is. For those who are currently enjoying summer, I hope that it is filled with both many days of both adventuring and relaxing.