Who doesn’t love a good summertime playlist? Every year my family and I take a road trip down to Southern California, and I always have a playlist at the ready with appropriate roll-your-window-down kind of songs. You know the ones–those songs you blare at full volume while you’re driving down the highway, singing every word to. Some may call them “feel-good” songs, but I call them “vibey summer songs.”
After a long, cold winter, I’m so glad summer is finally upon us. It’s time to bask in the sunshine and let the music overtake you. Today, I’ll highlight seven songs that you have to add to your mid-summer playlist–some of my favorite “vibey summer songs.”
Switchfoot, “Gone (Our Version)”
Reclaiming their 20-year-old album, Switchfoot re-recorded their hit record, The Beautiful Letdown, as a newly independent band. The 11-track album has always held a special place in the hearts of their fans, and now the record is taking on a new meaning with the release of The Beautiful Letdown (Our Version).
I grew up listening to The Beautiful Letdown, so the songs hold a lot of nostalgia. Air1 Radio was a staple in our household, and one of my favorite songs on the station was “Gone.” The upbeat track felt like the perfect summer anthem, and it still does today. With the release of “Gone (Our Version),” a new generation of Switchfoot fans can experience the whimsy it holds.
While “Gone (Our Version)” sounds similar to the original, the lyrics got a bit of an upgrade to fit modern times. With a nod to “our convenient Tesla cages,” Switchfoot altered the lyrics just enough for our current age. If you own a Tesla, go ahead and switch to self-driving mode and jam out to this song. If not, keep your hands on the wheel, okay?
Grace Graber, “This One’s for You”
Singer/songwriter Grace Graber, although new to the music industry, has already become known for her pop/rock songs. Because a Christian rock song from Hawk Nelson saved her life, she’s using her platform to release hope-filled anthems similar to the one that changed her life.
Recently, her story came full circle with the release of “This One’s for You.” Featuring vocals from the former lead singer of Hawk Nelson, Jason Dunn, she sang with the same artist who changed everything for her.
“This One’s for You” begins on a mellow note but erupts into a summer pop/rock anthem. Once the chorus hits, I can’t help but turn up the volume. Grace and Jason’s vocals mesh beautifully, and the heartfelt lyrics perfect the song. You’ll want to add “This One’s for You” to any summertime playlist.
Colony House, “Would Ya Could Ya”
Alt-rock band Colony House always releases the best “vibey” summer songs. The group released their latest album, The Cannonballers, in February 2023, and the record is full of upbeat summer songs. One of the tracks on the album is titled “Landlocked Surf Rock,” and perhaps that’s the best way to define their music. Although they’re from Nashville, Colony House maintains a surf rock style similar to bands like Switchfoot or Sunroom.
“Would Ya Could Ya” is one of the best examples of their upbeat surf rock style. The song incorporates pop and rock, making for an outstanding summer track. “Would Ya Could Ya” instantly transports me to a sunny day at the beach (Moonlight State Beach specifically, if you’re a San Diego native), and I think it will have the same effect on you. Don’t miss out on Colony House and their landlocked surf rock.
Gable Price and Friends, “Tough Love”
Last summer, I heard Gable Price and Friends‘ EP If I’m Being Honest, and I became hooked. Their catchy songs and meaningful lyrics captivated my heart, and I immediately became a fan. I listened to all their songs on repeat, and when I heard they were releasing a new album, I was beyond excited.
The Consequence of Being Alive came out in November 2022, and the album features one of my favorite Gable Price and Friends songs, “Tough Love.” When Gable sings the chorus, I can’t help but smile. Between his vocals and the catchy tune, I can’t get enough of “Tough Love.” I’ve listened to the song dozens of times, and it never gets old. Although the track is only three minutes long, it will instantly change your mood.
I apologize to the other artists featured on this list, but “Tough Love” might exceed them all. It’s the perfect song for summer. I’ll be jamming out to “Tough Love” for months.
Benjamin William Hastings, “Dancing With My Shadow”
I’ll be honest: when Benjamin William Hastings released his debut self-titled album, I was a little intimidated by the length of it. But when I finally decided to listen to the 25-track record, I was blown away. The album is an assortment of worship and upbeat pop tracks, including “Dancing With My Shadow.” I’ve had the song on repeat since it came out, and I’ll be adding it to all of my summer playlists this year.
Between the upbeat melody and the horn section featured mid-song, “Dancing With My Shadow” will, quite literally, make you want to get up and dance. But beyond merely having a good beat, the song is full of poetic lyrics that have been stirring my heart lately.
Benjamin sings in the chorus, “Come watch me dancin’ with my shadow/I’m tryin’ to figure out the steps/Between the man you think you follow/And the man I really am.” The song is an anthem to embrace the parts you try to conceal. The shadow side of your life that you try to hide. This summer, let’s start dancing with our shadows.
Good Weather Forecast, “The Future Looks Good (Safe And Sound)”
Hailing from Germany, Good Weather Forecast is three brothers and two friends bringing optimism and energy to the world through their music. While they may be a new name to some Christian music fans, the group has been touring for 14 years. They’ve played over 700 shows, toured three continents, and have written hundreds of songs. More recently, Good Weather Forecast released a feel-good summer song that everyone will want to sing along to this year.
“The Future Looks Good (Safe And Sound)” was released in collaboration with Christian EDM artist Neon Feather, who also co-wrote the track. The song is fast-paced and energetic, with a quick beat and EDM sound. It fills me with anticipation for the summer days ahead, with the hope-filled lyrics, “The future looks good/The future looks bright/The future looks better with you by my side.” Brighter days are ahead!
Peabod, “Pink Lemonade”
Peabod is known for his “healthy snacks and happy raps,” but it seems like he’s breaking the health food trend with his new single, “Pink Lemonade.” While “Pink Lemonade” is more low-key than other songs on this list, the EDM-style track maintains the essence of a summertime pop song.
Based on a recent video Peabod posted on Instagram, “Pink Lemonade” would be the perfect song to jam out to with your friends. With a catchy beat and poetic lyrics, “Pink Lemonade” might become your new favorite summertime song.
Grace Chaves is NRT’s News Editor and one of our youngest writers. She’s been part of NewReleaseToday since 2019 and will continue her writing journey by majoring in Writing at Point Loma Nazarene Univerisity in the fall.