Looking for atmospheric (non-pop, non-reggae) summer music.
June 28, 2011 9:14 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to put together a collection of summer music. Stuff that feels right when driving down the highway towards the beach with the windows rolled down. I'm thinking more along the lines of instrumentals and atmospheric, and less pop and reggae...

There have been a few threads recently asking about summer music, but it's all been pop oriented. Pandora's summer channel features a lot of Bob Marley and reggae, which is definitely _not_ what I'm looking for.

No, I'm looking for more atmospheric music. Something light and airy - bonus points for new age, ambient, and so on. David Arkenstone's album "Sketches From an American Journey" is kinda close this, but it's not quite right for summer, I don't think.

Or maybe some music that reminds you of cruising down the highway. For that I think of most of Maserati's album "Inventions For The New Season".

One of the other threads mentioned Go! Team's first album ("Thunder Lightning Strike") which fits the bill in my mind pretty well. I'm looking to expand out, though, and see what other people think. I'll try to respond to recommendations if necessary. Thanks!
posted by gchucky to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Up In Flames
posted by carsonb at 9:25 PM on June 28, 2011

The Break, a team up of Midnight Oil and The Violent Femmes, play instrument sci-fi surf rock

maybe chillwave like Wavves or Best Coast

the soundtrack to SEGA racing game Outrun is pretty chill: Magical Sound Shower, Splash Wave
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:36 PM on June 28, 2011

The Avalanches' Since I Left You! The whole album literally makes me think 'summer'. Particularly this track, naturally. Or the song Summer Cranes.
posted by pekala at 9:42 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Boards of Canada too.
posted by carsonb at 9:48 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Explosions in the Sky is great for this, but only at night.
posted by youcancallmeal at 10:05 PM on June 28, 2011

Crockett's Theme.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:11 PM on June 28, 2011

Check out the band dredg, specifically the album el cielo.
posted by mmmbacon at 11:40 PM on June 28, 2011

Summer music? can't get more summery than this. The album it's from is called 3+3 which all has a similar vibe.
posted by singingfish at 12:22 AM on June 29, 2011

Black Moth Super Rainbow - Forever heavy (or pretty much all of Dandelion Gum).
posted by freya_lamb at 2:43 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Maybe Altitude by Nimbus?
posted by A dead Quaker at 3:29 AM on June 29, 2011

Sigur Ros - Svefn-g-englar

This whole album is what you're looking for.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 3:48 AM on June 29, 2011

I listened to Nortec Colective while driving between Santa Barbara and San Diego in summertime in the early 2000's. T'was the perfect accompaniment. Trip to Ensenada seemed to work especially well.
posted by Rewind at 3:51 AM on June 29, 2011

Studio. Another song. I always imagine that's the type of music scandinavians imagine people listen when they go to tropical beach locations, i love it :P
Museum of Bellas Artes, Air France, jj are all similar if you liked the feel (and all from gothenburg or thereabouts!)

I find the first weezer album to have a summer-y feel, not sure why. And there's always Island in the Sun.

The Go Find's Miami album might fit the bill as well.

And since someone recommended Boards of Canada, i'll leave Króm and Blue States as well.
posted by palbo at 3:58 AM on June 29, 2011

Seconding Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Ros.

Telefon Tel Aviv - Fahrenheit Fair Enough
Tenniscoats - Baibaba Bimba
Beach House - Zebra
Philip Glass - Mad Rush
The Twilight Singers - Feeling Of Gaze
Rogue Wave - Eyes

Might have overdone it; nevertheless, enjoy, be well.
posted by pleasebekind at 4:51 AM on June 29, 2011

Response by poster: I see some stuff in here that I already have, like Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Ros and Air, but I'll definitely take a look into these other suggestions.
posted by gchucky at 4:56 AM on June 29, 2011

Brant Bjork's Jalamanta has a very chill, on the road vibe too. Another one.
posted by palbo at 5:05 AM on June 29, 2011

Anything from the 90s by LTJ Bukem. Atmospheric, jazzy drum and bass.
posted by proj at 5:26 AM on June 29, 2011

It's Summertime by the Flaming Lips, from their truly epic record Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
posted by workerant at 5:51 AM on June 29, 2011

Beach Fossils
posted by windbox at 7:16 AM on June 29, 2011

Right, I'm going to trust AskMefi magic for this suggestion; I know a really good song, but unfortunately I do not know the title, and "that song that my dance teacher always did at recitals with her two daughters" is really not going to help you. I have been searching like mad for a more specific title, but have a limited set of knowledge -- the title definitely had something to do with "summer", and it was a contemporary-jazz thing with piano and flute -- James Galway did the flute, and the cover art for the album featured drawing of a piano and a flute in a bed together.

(I have a hunch that the mods are going to be erasing this answer soon, but I'm hoping that that admittedly limited set of clues may tip someone off and they can take pity on me and post a more complete title.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 AM on June 29, 2011

I can't find the right version on YouTube, but Stereolab's Metronomic Underground is my all-time favorite driving song, in any season, and it certainly fits your criteria. The album it's on, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, does as well.
posted by breakin' the law at 7:52 AM on June 29, 2011


The flautist was NOT James Galway -- it was Jean-Pierre Rampal, and the album in question was this one with Claude Bolling. "Sentimentale" was the song I was thinking of; the "Summer" I was remembering as the title came from "Summer afternoon", which was the name of the dance piece.

My apologies for the fumbling. But this is definitely the song now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 AM on June 29, 2011

A lot of Krautrock makes excellent driving music. In fact, that was the whole idea behind Neu! You couldn't go wrong with some Can or early Kraftwerk, either.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:26 AM on June 29, 2011

Two songs by Broken Social Scene spring to mind.

Pacific Theme This whole album is great to drive to, but I especially love listening to this song whenever I'm driving near water.

7/4 Shoreline I love the odd but nonetheless catchy beat.

Seconding the recommendation for dredg above, although nothing of theirs springs to mind as particularly summery.

Maybe Ode to the Sun? Heh.
posted by Gymnopedist at 4:38 PM on June 29, 2011

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