Each summer, on the first weekend the thermostat breaks 20 degrees, I take to the road and rediscover one of my favourite parts of the warm season: driving with all the windows down, tunes blaring. I realize that this may be incredibly obnoxious to some (i.e., people who are trying to have normal conversations with the people around them, people who are trying to concentrate on driving, people in general), but it’s a guilty pleasure that I just can’t shake. Upon reflection, I think that I love doing this because back in the summer of 2006, during my summer camp counselor days, we’d spend weekends eating ice cream by the harbour, blaring jams the whole way there and back over some pretty incredible northern Ontario country roads. I know - how YM of me, but I am forever in love with the feeling of wind blowing my hair and sweet crooning over my speakers – it makes me feel invincible.
Here are, in no particular order, my top five nostalgic summer driving jams, and the ghosts of summers past therein.
1) Girl – Beck
This one’s a bit dark (“And I know I’m gonna make her die / take her where her soul belongs”) but sounds light, which is why I love it. I’m a huge fan of Beck in general, but I’m an even bigger fan of anything that harks back to preteen days. Every time I listen to Beck I think of the summer of 1996, when I saved up to buy Odelay at the local strip mall’s Music World. I was pretty stoked on ‘Where It’s At’. This track didn’t come out until 2005′s Guero, but it still makes me think of tennis day camp and how many CDs I bought at that particular Music World (hundreds).
2) Living Room – Tegan and Sara
It’s no secret that I adore the Quin twins; I think they are way talented and have been following their every move since I first heard them on Jonovision, a million years ago. During winter days, I especially like listening to The Con on repeat while plotting various getaways/everyone’s demise. This particular track makes me think of the summer of 2008, when I interned at a modelling agency and one of the agents would hilariously mime out this song after hours at the office. I guess you had to be there, but it brought me to laughter tears every time.
3) Crazy Love, Vol. II – Paul Simon
My mother, as legend has it, once stood in line for something like two days to buy Paul Simon concert tickets for herself, my sister and I (we were 6 and 2 and a half years old at the time). I could say that this song reminds me of that show, but I’d be lying, because I don’t remember anything about that night other than being in a noisy room after my bedtime and not being too pleased about it (despite the genius that was happening mere feet away). This whole album is gold to me, and the Vampire Weekend mash up of this song has become a favourite as of late.
4) Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues – Eels
I can’t say I jam to Eels very often, but this song is about as guilty a pleasure as the very act of blaring music while driving – if only because it makes me think of high school. Remember when this was on Road Trip? I do. This song transports me back to the summer of 2000, and all the glory (not) of being 13: friendship bracelets, jean jackets and writing in journals. I would say “take me back”, but being a 13-year old girl was the worst.
5) Day Tripper – Beatles (Nancy Sinatra below)
This is a classic – of course – but specifically a classic to the end of the summer of 2004, when I moved into university residence and life as I know it began. The whole concept of being a “day tripper” (“you’re just a weekend hippie”) makes me think of coming of age – Proust, beer pong and all. The fact that this was originally released with another favourite Beatles tune of mine, ‘We Can Work It Out’ just makes it that much better. This Nancy Sinatra version is ruling my summer 2012 playlist.
Image courtesy of shutterstock.
Cora is the Editor in Chief at Fond Magazine. She loves Canadian content, Italian handbags and 90s music. You can follow Cora’s day-to-day trials and triumphs at @corasavera