In honor of the heat wave sweeping the Bay Area this week – I’m going to sleep with the fan on and it’s October – I present a selection of songs that sound like summer, a list originally spawned by an av club q & a from 2009. As previously stated, I love themed playlists and mixes. I mean, I’m the person who has a whole group of songs that I think somehow sound like whiskey (yes, I realize that’s odd, and maybe I’ll clarify some day).

So, after the jump, the songs that put me in mind of summer days, either because they sound summery or because I hear them a lot during the summer (with links or video where possible).

Sandman with Jen Grady – “Ballad of a Salad”

This song is amazing, and almost no one has heard it. Unless you know me, in which case I’ve probably forced you to listen to it at some point. Whenever I hear it, it makes me think of long summer days, of girls in white sundresses and late day sunshine slanting across fields of wheat. Seriously.

Lauryn Hill – “Doo Wop (That Thing)”

Ppartly because of the video, but I’ve always thought this was a great urban block party song.

Martha & the Vandellas – “Heatwave”


Gnarls Barkley – “Crazy”

This was all over the summer I moved back to Oakland, and it sounds appropriately summer-y.

Van Morrison – “Gloria”

I used to think this song was by the Rolling Stones. Seriously, up until about 5 years ago. It makes me think of Vietnam movies, which–maybe because of the heat?–always make me think of summer.

Ween – “Freedom of ’76” and “Ocean Man”

One sounds like summer, the other I listened to a lot the summer I discovered Ween.

Almost the entire soundtrack from Dazed and Confused, but especially the following, which sound hot and sexy like a long summer night: