You know what makes a day at the beach even better? Some "totally tubular" tunes to go along with it. June is finally here, meaning we're taking every opportunity we can get to bask in the sun and sand...as well as play some relaxing, exciting songs to soundtrack the experience.
We feel like the task of selecting perfect music for the beach is an art form in itself. Please don't fall into the trap of blasting the overplayed "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett or just relistening to those dusty old Colbie Caillat songs you've kept in your Spotify library for ages. We think you can do better. Don't worry - we're here to help.
Take a gander at the list of beach day songs we have below. Trust us when we say making seaside mixtapes is one of our favorite activities, and Live365 has boiled the practice down to a science. All packed and ready to go to the beach? Don't forget to add these 25 songs to your music library while you're sunbathing!
1. "Catamaran" - Allah-Las
Anything Allah-Las is tailor-made for the beach. While you could spend your sunny day near the waves just listening to their 2012 self-titled debut, we think the standout track on that album is the opener, "Catamaran". It'll make you feel like you're manning a sailboat all alone in the ocean in cinematic slow motion.
2. "We're Good" - Dua Lipa
There are a few songs by Dua that have tropical flair embedded within their music production, but "We're Good" is the best for a beach day. Between the opening "island" line and the liquid-like guitar riffs (not to mention that Titanic-themed music video), this Future Nostalgia track will make you feel, well, good while you're hanging by the shore.
3. "SUMMER" - The Carters
Intricate and warm, this track by The Carters (aka power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z) is sultry and scintillating. Perfect for some beach memories with your boo. We love "SUMMER" for Queen Bey's knockout vocals, the slow tempo that brings crashing waves to mind, and the reggae influences within the song's composition.
4. "Could You Be Loved" - Bob Marley & The Wailers
Speaking of reggae, is a beach day really complete without some Bob Marley bangers? "Could You Be Loved" is our favorite to blast when our toes are in the sand. The guitar and rhythm just have a certain whimsy that compliments beach waves and beachgoer happenings so nicely. Besides this jam, we also recommend "Jamming", and the classic "Three Little Birds".
5. "Panama" - Sports
This one's also good for pool parties, or any other kind of activity in the sweltering sun. "Panama" was released in 2015 as part of the dream pop band's album Naked All the Time, but it feels like it was made in the 1980s. While the beach is hot, this tune will make you feel oh so cool.
6. "egyptian pools" - JUICEBOX, Jinsang
An underrated chillhop track that makes any listener want to float on the waves. "egyptian pools" was adapted by JUICEBOX from a beat made by the music producer, Jinsang. The result is hip, trippy, and so calming, it may make you take a beach snooze.
7. "Fangs" - Matt Champion
A hip-hop track that turns up the heat and surf guitar style. "Fangs" was made by Matt Champion, best known as a former member of the collective BROCKHAMPTON. (Rest in peace!) This is one of his solo singles, and it feels perfect for any kind of summer activity that involves sand and water. Champion's other singles also work for the shore - besides "Fangs", we have "Mansions" saved to our beach playlists.
8. "Miserlou" - Dick Dale
Whether you've heard this action-packed hit from Pulp Fiction or surfer movies, "Miserlou" is a fun lyricless oldie by Dick Dale you need to play loud and proud during a beach day. It's a perfect accompaniment to frisbee and volleyball games, watching your friends boogie board, or running away from those pesky seagulls who are trying to steal your sandwich.
9. "Feels Like Summer" - Childish Gambino
This Gambino bop gets a revival every summertime, so why not take the opportunity to play it while you're on the beach? It never gets old. "You can feel it in the streets / On a day like this, the heat / It feel like summer!"
10. "waves - Tame Impala Remix" - Miguel, Tame Impala
This duo created an anthem for beach-dwelling dudes and dudettes everwhere. Crisp and rockin' with psychedelic power, "waves - Tame Impala Remix" feels like the sonic equivalent to taking a dip in the ocean and jumping over the crashing waves that approach. This track takes so many wonderful twists and turns, and it truly feels like riding a wave - just as the lyrics describe!
11. "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini" - Bryan Hyland
A novelty song that highlights the anxiety - and absolute absurdity - of wearing swimsuits in front of others. And maybe also the body culture that goes along with it? Not a beach song that talks about the waves, heat, sand, or sea creatures, but definitely a catchy classic that makes you think about the pedestrians around you. And will make you dread going to the locker room.
12. "Relax" - Vacations
Another beach song about anxiety, but this time one that will quell your worries and help you enjoy the present moment. "Relax" by Vacations is a emotional jam, but one all about soaking up the sun and slowing down your breathing.
13. "Golden" - Harry Styles
Sure, "Watermelon Sugar" seems like the obvious choice for a beach playlist, but we prefer another song from Harry Styles' Fine Line: "Golden". Like the sun, this song is shimmering, toasty, and yellow in feel. Yet it still retains that cool Styles edge - like the fresh feel of ocean spray on your face.
14. "Kokomo" - The Beach Boys
Did you really think we would publish this list without sneaking a Beach Boys song in here? "Surfin' USA" and "Good Vibrations" already get enough love, so we're going with "Kokomo" for this selection of songs. With a beloved chorus and a unique blend of steel drums, accordion and saxophone, this is particularly good song to play if you're planning a beach trip in the Florida Keys.
15. "Go Away Dream" - The Tamlins
An underappreciated reggae song great for beach bummin'. The Tamlins released this relaxing ditty back in 1984 and we're surprised it hasn't attained more mainstream success. The tenor vocals, steady beat, and the smooth organ bubble are a perfect match for that 4 pm, 5 pm timeframe when the sun is starting to hang lower in the sky.
16. "Slipped Disc" - Lizzy Mercier Desclou
Lizzy Mercier Desclou is a hidden French gem of R&B music. Her 1981 record Mambo Nassau was ABSOLUTELY made for your best beach excursions (she's even holding up a conch shell on the album cover), and its the track "Slipped Disc" that will take your day from good to great. Need some courage to go back into the cold water? Are your kids begging you to chase them across the sand? Listen to this song for some energy, then get going.
17. "Rocky" - Still Woozy
We're big Still Woozy fans here at Live365 - we've even featured his band member, Legwurk, for this month's 10 LGBTQ+ Artists You Should Know In 2022 list. That being said, Woozy's song "Rocky" can be found on several beach/surf rock playlists across the internet, and it's not hard to hear why. It's dreamy like swirling ocean raves, yet coarse like the rocky surface below.
18. "Why" - Dominic Fike
Dominic Fike's discography is best fit for west coast waters. "Why" is another good song to listen to when the sun is setting low, or even if you're taking a stroll on the sand during the evening. It's charming, moody, and totally refined.
19. "Santa Barbara" - Benny Sings, Nataly Dawn
Just as the title suggests, this duet between Benny Sings and Nataly Dawn feels like it's centered around the part of earth where palm trees grow. This is yet another track that feels appropriate for evening beach strolls. Maybe even a beach stroll with a lover, since the lyrics are very romantic and playful.
20. "Steeeam" - Shelly
The band Shelly is the lovechild of singer/songwriter Clairo, Saddest Factory Records member Claud, and some of their other friends. We love their 2020 song "Steeeam", which is so beach-appropriate but also has this dreamy, melancholic main character energy that's hard to put your finger on? On or off the beach, "Steeeam" is an earwormy romp.
21. "The Spins" - Mac Miller
Made for sporty beach activities or partying it up with pals, "The Spins" by Mac Miller brings the fire. It's youthful, lyrically sly, and one for the cool kids, for sure. Your friends will thank you for playing this on your speaker while running across the sand.
22. "Everytime" - boy pablo
Who knew a surf guitar could sound so blue? Okay, maybe not that blue...this is boy pablo we're talking about, and his tunes never cross into emo territory. But "Everytime" is a pensive, surfy track that tells the story of a girl who wants more out of a relationship when her partner isn't treating her right. Story aside, "Everytime" is a good one to play while you're unwinding, reading a book or closing your eyes while getting a tan.
23. "Malibu" - Miley Cyrus
Yes, we felt it wasn't right to make a beach day list without including this Miley classic. The lyrics alone qualify this song as a beach song, but its the floating melodies and Miley's, calming, echoey vocals that make this a must-play. We're sad the relationship between Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth snapped, but at least it resulted in this awesome track.
24. "Don't Go Yet" - Camila Cabello
What's a beach day mixtape without a little Latin flair? Reminiscent of the sounds you'd hear in Miami, Cuba, or the Caribbean, "Don't Go Yet" is pure pleasure. Camila's vocals in particular really shine here, and we can't help but recite along to her rapping bits.
25. "Riptide" - Vance Joy
Last but not least...a throwback for all you kids who had your coming of age in the early 2010's! This ukulele bop may be titled after a dangerous kind of beach wave formation, but its also as sweet as pie. Romantic with some melancholy and shy, heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics, "Riptide" tells the story of a man falling in love despite his fears. This one really brings us back to the good ol' days. We hope it does the same for you as you relax on the beach with friends, family, and other special folk.
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Article Image: A bird's eye view shot of a populated beach landscape. (Lance Asper via Unsplash.)