2013’s Best Albums for Summer Listening


Summer always has a soundtrack. Music just goes so well with warm, lazy days. There are endless options to listen to, but you might find some new favorites on our best albums for summer list.

daft punk

10. Daft Punk-Random Access Memories: I almost hate this record as much as I love it, and that’s precisely the reason why…it’s so infectious and addictive that it doesn’t really even give me a choice but to add it the list of best albums for summer listening. My hips decided for me…which I suppose is ultimately a pretty good thing. This French housey-disco music makes it feel like the ’70s never left. So, turn off your iPhone, your computer and crank it up for a day of gardening or a night of partying…making it truly an ultimate summer album.

david bowie the next day

9. David Bowie-The Next Day: Maybe it’s that David Bowie is pretty much the coolest guy ever, or, he just makes really good music. Whatever the reason, groove some of The Next Day for an ’80s flashback/and futuristic flash forward like only Mr. Stardust can. Instant classics include”The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”, “Boss of Me”, and “(You Will) Set the World on Fire.”

sigur ros

8. Sigur Ros-Kveikur: Iceland’s other music claim to fame is the post-rock quintet, Sigur Ros. Their unique sound has been earning them scores of fans for nearly two decades. And Kveikur does not disappoint. While not much of a departure from their billowy, Pink Floyd-esque hazy sounds on records past, anything deviating too much from that would be painfully awkward. This is what Sunday mornings in summer were meant for.

shannon and the clams

7. Shannon and the Clams- Dreams in the Rat House: Ever watch one of those summer beach movies from the ’50s? It doesn’t matter if you have, really. Shannon and Clams have recreated it for you on Dreams in the Rat House. Their surfer rock sound is eerily reminiscent of that bygone era. Take to any beach, put on an itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie-yellow-polka-dot-bikini and wait for your time machine to arrive.

jon hopkins

6. Jon Hopkins-Immunity: Modern summers and electronica seem to go hand in hand. And while dubstep may be a bit more appropriate for the dance floor or festival circuit, Hopkins’ ambient Immunity fits everywhere else. Light, layered beats are as addictive as they are gentle. It’s a backdrop, yes, but a most essential one.

fat freddy's drop

5. Fat Freddy’s Drop-Blackbird: New Zealand’s grooviest export, Fat Freddy’s Drop, has been making international waves for years. And their latest offering, Blackbird, is no exception. Singer Joe Dukie’s soothing voice and the reggae-inspired beats are a perfect remedy for any “boring” summer day. Drift away to the title track, “Silver & Gold” and “Never Moving.” And make it a summer to-do to familiarize yourself with their previous albums as well. It’s all about context, here.

the national

4. The National-Trouble Will Find Me: I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not The National actually suck. Before this album, it was one more in the suck column, but as to be expected whenever they release new music, I’ve toggled back to the other side. Trouble Will Find Me sounds like they’ve finally figured out whatever it is has given them so much trouble in the past…No wonder that’s the record’s name. “Demons”, “Fireproof”, “This is the Last Time” are just some of the standouts. But you really can’t go wrong with any track here. It’s perfect sunset sounds.

atoms for peace

3. Atoms for PeaceAmok: Would any of us really be surprised if Thom Yorke of Radiohead eventually admitted he’s actually an alien from another planet? He can’t even disguise this with monikers like Atoms for Peace, a side project with the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea and musicians who’ve played with both the Peppers and Radiohead. Appropriately, the record is peppered with Radiohead’s spacey sounds and Flea’s spicy bass workings and beats to boot. It fails to disappoint on any level. Hit play. And then, repeat.

savages music

2. Savages-Silence Yourself: I can’t get enough of this debut record from the London-based post-punk quartet. The screechy, droning guitars and Jehnny Beth’s haunting vocals have become a soundtrack. The tempo moves from almost poppy to dirgeful…always making it an appropriate record no matter what the occasion. Must listen: “Husbands”, “I am Here”, “She Will.”

nick cave

1. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds-Push the Sky Away: If you’re not familiar with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, let this summer be your intro period to the prolific Aussies. While they’re best known for dark and moody music you’d find more appropriate in the dead of winter, there’s something fitting about this record in summer, too. “Jubilee Street” and “Higgs Boson Blues” both seem to make sense for the warm summer sun, and the title track is perfect for a quiet night under the stars.

And what would summer be without a favorite classic? Although it might seem impossible that 20 years have passed, who can forget 1993’s Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream? It’s as good now as it was then. Remember?

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Daniela Vladimirova


Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.