When I moved to Southern California from upstate South Carolina, I quickly learned that early August is primetime for beach visits. The water is warm enough to go swimming without freezing in the ocean breeze, and everybody wants to get one last party in before summer ends (though I also soon learned that true seasons don’t exist here). With this playlist, I want to evoke the mood of a late-season bonfire on the beach, while there’s still enough warmth and daylight to dance with friends without tripping over kelp or a chunk of driftwood.
1.“Indian Summer” – Jai Wolf
No summer playlist would be complete without “Indian Summer,” the track that catapulted Bangladeshi American artist Jai Wolf to fame. A blend of Bangladeshi traditional music and Western EDM, it’s the perfect song to relax to after eating a few too many hamburgers.
Kicking off with beachy vibes reminiscent of big band music, “Castaway,” from Yuna’s most recent album “Rouge,” nicely showcases the Malaysian artist’s breathy, melodic vocals.
3. “Wake Up” – Run River North
If you ever need a reminder to stop and smell the roses once in a while, this is the jam for you. The L.A.-based indie pop outfit croons over a string arrangement about making time to appreciate the little things in life.
The musicians in the music video might be faking their tropical vacations, but the cheery singing and upbeat synths from Asian America’s favorite DJ will fit in at any real-life beach party.
5. “Ghost” – Awkwafina
As the season winds down, this one is for all the people who aren’t quite sure how to end that awkward summer fling. Take it from Awkwafina herself, sometimes the best thing to do is just ghost so you can both move on.
6. “Born For This” – Dumbfoundead
A little Korean Jesus never goes out of style. “Born For This” has a chill, catchy hip-hop beat and takes a look back at how DFD got to be where he is today.
7. “Slow Dancing In the Dark” – Joji
Featuring a far-out synth sound and sparkling piano notes, this song is perfect for looking up at the stars after the sun goes down (if you can still see them with all the city lights, that is).
8. “Drunk, High, and Happy” – Daniel Ethridge
The title track of Ethridge’s debut album provides plenty of life advice, but also tells listeners not to take life so seriously. And at the end of the day, isn’t that a reminder we all need?