Sure, my summer tour ended a good three months ago, but one of my favorite things about driving around all Summer was listening to music in the car. I assembled this playlist as I went and decided to share it with you, along with a little breakdown about each track and why it was there. You can listen to the playlist on Apple Music or Spotify!
Summer Tour 2017 Playlist
Call it Dreaming – Iron and Wine My running, drumming, vegan-ing friend Adrian shared with me his Apple Music 2017 playlist which started with this tune. With its themes of travel and community, It quickly became the tear-jerking-oh-my-goddess-I’m-really-doing-this anthem for my trip. The video really nailed it for me too:
Concrete Sky – Beth Orton Well, it’s Beth Orton. That’s why. Her music is so earthy and I just love singing this one.
Everything Now – Arcade Fire Another one from Adrian’s playlist. I love the percussion in this and Arcade Fire is a long time favorite band.
Good as Hell – Lizzo My good friend Jessica and I had lunch together in Seattle. We’ve been friends since the early nineties and shared many a mix tape with one another. It’s only appropriate that this list includes a track suggested for her. This was our first face time in probably 15+ years!
Stand – Goapele One of four songs on this list that I discovered via the Song Exploder podcast. Are you listening to it? Artists break down the process of creating their songs. Inspiring little nuggets.
Black Man in a White World – Michael Kiwanuka Song Exploder again. I love the vintage feel of this song, And the handclaps. And those STRINGS!
Pusherman – Curtis Mayfield Seemed a perfect fit after Michael Kiwanuka
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll – Ian Dury & The Blockheads At Planet Rehab, like at many of the places I crashed over the summer, I was sleeping on the couch. A friend of the place, Austin, was coming in for the weekend and came in while I was dead asleep. I woke up and chatted with him for a bit, and he mentioned that he heard this song on the radio. We googled and discovered it was Ian Dury. I don’t remember hearing this song before this, but I kinda love it.
New York – St Vincent Apple Music suggested this song to me a month or so before the trip, and then it showed up on Song Exploder. I love the way she says “mother fucker” and the production of this track is just right.
Night Birds – Ryan Adams I spent a solid week working the Strong Hearts booth at the New York State Fair. There was lots of music talk with my friend and co-owner Joel. This was playing early one morning at the cafe when we stopped by to grab supplies for the fair. I love Ryan Adams and he appears somewhere else on this list, any idea where?
Casting Call – Lemolo My friend Adrian is the drummer for this band and I saw more of him than anyone else on this trip. I stayed with him in Los Angeles and shared meals, movies and doughnuts with him in Portland and Seattle. One of my favorite memories from this trip was sitting on the top of a mountain in Snoqualmie, Washington hearing Lemolo at the Gigantic Bicycle Festival. Did you know that the Pacific Northwest is ridiculously beautiful, like, everywhere? Adrian made the video for this song too. Check it out:
Sugar for the Pill – Slowdive I’m a long time fan of Slowdive, so I was really excited to hear that they have a new album out (thanks, Song Exploder!) This song is everything I love about them. Absolutely gorgeous.
Get Out Of My House – Kate Bush The kitchen crew at Strong Hearts was calling me “The Slammer” because of my love for the kitchen device we used to chop onions. I kept thinking of Kate’s voice here: “When you left, the door was SLAMMING…”
Tuff Enuff – The Fabulous Thunderbirds Among the “whatever happened to…” list of performers at The New York State Fair were The Fabulous Thunderbirds. This tune became Joel’s and my anthem to start each morning at the fair.
Sunset People – Donna Summer This track kept popping into my head in LA whenever I drove on, you guessed it, Sunset Blvd. Love the synthiness of this track. Co-written by Harold Faltermeyer! Just discovered this!
If I Can’t Have You – Yvonne Elliman The intro to the Arcade Fire track above reminds me of this song.
Summer Breeze – Seals & Crofts Another one from my Strong Hearts mornings. Inspired by the summer kale salad.
Tony – Patty Griffin I stood with Los Angeles Animal Save’s Amy Jean Davis at two slaughterhouse vigils when I was in LA. I was so proud she came to my show, too. After the show she mentioned how my story about my dog Corky reminded her of this song. I had never heard it before, and it, of course, really resonates.
Mountains – Prince One of my many favorite Prince songs, and the perfect thing to listen to whilst driving through…mountains.
River Run Dry – The Family I can’t remember why I started listening to this song on the trip, but I love it. I listened to it a lot. I’d like to cover this song one day.
Goodbye to Romance – Ozzy Osbourne There was a lot of music and discussion about music in the Strong Hearts kitchen. I never knew Ozzy had power ballads like this one. I kinda love it.
I and Love and You – The Avett Brothers Introduced to me by my pal Jasmin Singer. This song has everything I love, and made me a little homesick for Brooklyn.
Circle – Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians So, this song is one I have loved for years, and it is perfect for a pity party about being perpetually single. It kinda represents the dark side of why I stay out of relationships, if that makes sense.
Start of the Breakdown – Tears for Fears Perhaps my favorite from TFF, definitely from my favorite album of theirs. This is another one I love to sing along with over and over and over again.
I hope you enjoy this collection of songs as much as I do. Back in the analog tape days, i would spend hours creating mix tapes with just the right flow of songs. I loved it, and I loved sharing them. This is the closest I have come to recreating that feeling in years. If you like the mix, or if anything grabs you from it, please feel free to let me know. I’d really love to hear your thoughts, and if you have a playlist like this to share.. HAND IT OVER AT ONCE!