Music Playlist: We’re Bringing Summer Back [MUSE]


Grace Xu and Shruthi Ravichandran

Bring back those lazy-summer-vacation moods during Labor Day Weekend with a student-curated playlist. From alternative to pop to lofi, there’s bound to be a song that kicks up your summer nostalgia! And if you’re going on a road trip, this playlist is just perfect for the car. Check it out on Spotify at:

While I did curate and review the playlist myself, several of my friends (including my co-blogger Shruthi) offered plenty of song suggestions, so there’s quite a variety of genres to enjoy. And if you’re planning to read the blog post pretty thoroughly, I have a fun little game for you: take a shot—of water, of course—each time you read the phrase “this song.” I guarantee you’ll stay hydrated.


Playlist: We’re Bringing Summer Back

Lazy summer skies, warm sunshine, lying on a beach, splashing pool water, baked sidewalks, empty days, soda condensation, open car roofs. 

Closer [Chainsmokers]

What better way to start off a summer playlist? Every time I hear this song, it just brings me back to middle school (and back to when every school day was like summer break… ahh, the good times).

Cruel Summer [Taylor Swift]

As a certain friend of mine would say, stream Lover! Okay, but really, Taylor Swift’s new album is amazing, this song is amazing, and you can’t change my mind. 

Cherry Cola [Kuwada]

I found this song on Spotify when I was trying to play some other random song but Spotify refused to cooperate and instead started playing random songs that weren’t even by the same artist. (When you’re too broke for Spotify Premium T_T) But guess what Spotify? Your marketing tactics backfired! On a more serious note, I really fell in love with “Cherry Cola,” and this song’s sunset beach mood is no joke. Close your eyes when you listen to it; you’ll practically feel the sand under your bare feet.

22 [Taylor Swift]

2000s/2010s pop always makes me feel nostalgic, and “22” definitely falls into that category. This song came out when I was in fourth grade, and dang, that’s back when teachers would pass out fake class money and my friends and I actually believed we were telepathic.  

Something about LA [Eric Chou]

I can literally see the clear blue Californian sky, and I’ve never even been to the west coast. Also, it’s Eric Chou, who has the best music, so I had to put one of his songs on here. Bonus: Eric Chou also writes and produces almost all his songs, just saying…

Summer is a Curse [The Faim]

Maybe summer really is a curse, because I feel like I’m on summer withdrawal right now… why school much hard? Don’t worry though, this song’s got you covered on that reckless summer feeling. 

I Like Me Better [Lauv]

I went to New York City this summer, and our hotel lobby was playing “I Like Me Better” the moment we arrived! I really lauv Lauv’s entire discography (haha), and this song gives me the perfect summer-in-NYC vibes.

Summertime Magic [Childish Gambino]

This song is the audio manifestation of a pool. Maybe it’s the album cover art, but whatever it is, “Summertime Magic” will immediately transport you to the summer poolside.      

Sunflower – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse [Post Malone, Swae Lee]

My mom likes this song! Is that not reason enough to go listen to it? Plus, it’s pretty much the only song that my ten-year-old brother and I both like. And yes, as you can probably tell, we watched “Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse” together. 

Just Friends [Virginia To Vegas]

This gives me such strong road trip vibes, and I don’t even know why. It’s another gem I found from Spotify recommendations, and I have no regrets on not buying Spotify Premium.

Automobile [KALEO]

Road trip, you say? Well, this is the road trip song. It’s even called “Automobile.” And its leisurely mood—that’s exactly the feeling I need this Labor Day weekend. (Homework? What’s that?)

Sunflower [Rex Orange County]

Imagine laying down in a sunflower-filled meadow on a cloudy day at perfect temperature. Oh wait—you could just listen to “Sunflower.” Honestly, this song is perfect to listen to, when you’re just lying on your bed and staring at the ceiling fan. Close your eyes and cloud-watch in your imagination instead.

Shut up and Dance [WALK THE MOON]

Play this song and you will feel a million times happier. 100% guaranteed.

Summer is Like A Dream [khai dreams]

Discovering lofi is one of the best things that can happen to you (“lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to” anyone?), so of course I had to add a lofi song on here. This one isn’t a pure instrumental, but don’t worry, it still emanates that trademark low-fidelity vibe.

Prom Queen [Beach Bunny]

“Prom Queen” was one of my friends’ suggestions, and I just love the 90s feel. (This is one of the recommendations I’ve already added to my personal playlist!) This song doesn’t really scream summer, but on second listen, it kinda does scream summer.    

Riptide [Vance Joy]

An oldie, but a goodie. It’s just such a feel-good, likable song—this Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to bring it back. 

LA Devotee [Panic! At The Disco]

“LA Devotee” will make you feel like you’re with friends at night, and it’s gotten dark enough that everyone feels more willing to spill secrets and rock their heads to songs like this with no sense of control.  

Lucky Strike [Troye Sivan]

Troye’s music is always so sentimental, and this song is no different. Plus, I swear I can hear beach waves from the music, even though they’re not there.


Ummm, yeah, I might be a kpop fan… just maybe… hehe. If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s cool, but also you should seriously give it a try. It’s a whole new world of quality music, and the cute summery vibe of this song always brightens my day.

Malibu [Miley Cyrus]

If you’re in a wish-I-was-at-the-beach mood, this song is for you. It makes me want to go surfing, and I don’t even like swimming.

Fourth of July [Fall Out Boy]

I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard this song before my friend recommended it, yet it somehow made me nostalgic? I guess it’s the power of Fall Out Boy. Plus, the recklessly confident summer feel—classic. 

Highway to Heaven – English version [NCT 127]

Did I mention that I’m a kpop fan? Don’t worry, in case you couldn’t tell, this song’s all in English. The pronunciation is on-point, and it’s a hecka good song too. The road trip vibe is strong with this one. 

Generation Why [Conan Gray]

This song somehow makes me miss those humid summer days even though I hate humidity. Also, fun fact: this song is about Millenials, aka Generation Y, aka Generation Why. Conan Gray is a genius.

Senorita [Shawn Mendes, Camilla Cabello]

  I mean, how could I not put this on the list? It’s probably going down as the song of summer 2019.

Looped Up [tobi lou ft. Vernon]

“It’s been a very long time since the weekend.” “Still stuck in a loop.” (Cue anime butterfly meme: Is this a pigeon song about school?) Don’t worry, the instrumental will still cheer you up even as our three-day vacation ends! 


While Labor Day Weekend isn’t going to last forever, this playlist will. Visit our blog often for more commentary on the arts and media.           


On this blog, Shruthi Ravichandran and Grace Xu provide monthly curations of all types of arts and media, from TV shows to music to novels and even YouTubers. On top of mood-oriented playlists, there’s also the occasional rant-filled review. They hope readers will always leave with a new piece of media to muse over. Click here to read more from MUSE.