When the sun hits the ground, these tunes are comin’ around: Here’s what Loy Norrix Knights think you should be listening to this summer


Credit: Miya Timmer

Miya Timmer, Staff Writer

Summer is a perfect time to jam out to your favorite tunes, but listening to the same music all year long can get pretty old. You may be into rap in the winter, but you could be more of a rock person when the sun’s out in the summer.  While some people listen to their favorite summer artists, some make playlists full of their favorite summer songs.

According to AudioSocket, some of the characteristics of a summer hit are the repeating lyrics and melodies, upbeat time signatures and more recently, minor keys. Of course, these characteristics will differ depending on someone’s personal music taste. 


“Nhip Dan Vui” – Phuong Tam

“There’s so many good summer songs it’s hard to choose, but one of my favorites would definitely have to be ‘Nhip Dan Vui’ by Phuong Tam,” said freshman Rosie Hill.  “It’s so groovy, and it makes me want to jump around and dance all the time.”

“Nhip Dan Vui” is a Vietnamese pop song by Phuong Tam, but it’s often categorized as soul or Vietnamese Bolero.  It was written in 1964, but it wasn’t released until 2021 when Phuong Tam’s daughter found some of her old recordings and brought them to a producer.  The translation of “Nhip Dan Vui” is ‘A Merry Tune,’ and it is indeed merry.

This song definitely has the feel of a classic 50’s/60’s soul tune, with its upbeat tempo, large horn and percussion section, saxophone solos and the repeating chanting throughout the song.  

“It just feels like a cheerful and fun song that makes you want to dance and go sprint down the block.  I have actually done that before because I was listening to this song, and I got a burst of energy just from listening to it,” Hill continued. “I just started sprinting down my block at like 11 at night and also kind of singing it really loudly.  I think that’s a good memory this song holds for me.”

“Nhip Dan Vui” is a very bubbly and lighthearted song with cheerful lyrics, but some people like songs that have less optimistic lyrics, but still sound upbeat.  


“Two Weeks” – Grizzly Bear

“My favorite song to listen to in the summer is ‘Two Weeks’ by Grizzly Bear,” said freshman Alice Damashek.  “I like this song because it’s so hype, and I feel like as soon as I play it, I just get in a good mood.”

“Two Weeks” is an alternative rock song by the indie rock band Grizzly Bear.  The song is about a relationship that’s coming to an end, but the protagonist is desperate to fix it in the next two weeks before it’s too late.

Although the lyrics in “Two Weeks” aren’t particularly cheerful, the fast tempo and backing vocals in addition to the unique use of percussion and repetitive keyboard progressions makes the song seem much more happy and fun.  

“It kind of encompasses what I feel a midwestern summer would feel like.  It also reminds me of hanging out with friends, and it makes me energetic, and I just think it’s a very good song,” Damashek said.  “I remember when I went to San Francisco to visit my sister, and she played it in the car, so it reminds me of her which is nice because I miss her.”


“Pretty Girl” – Clairo

Similar to “Two Weeks,” “Pretty Girl” by Clairo is a song that has lyrics that aren’t very cheerful, but the overall structure and vibe it gives off makes the song sound much more lighthearted.  

“Pretty Girl” is an alternative song written and produced by Claire Cottrill, better known as Clairo.  It was the song that first drew attention to the now well known indie artist.

As explained by Clairo in an interview with FADER in 2018,  “The song is originally about a relationship I had, and I felt like I needed to be a pretty girl for someone. I was just writing a song about how messed up that is, and how that shouldn’t be a thing in relationships, and about how you should always be confident in who you are to begin with.”

“I really like listening to ‘Pretty Girl’ in the summer because it brings back good memories from like fifth grade of not being worried about any responsibilities or any work,” said sophomore Charlie Doerschler.  “It’s very nice to remember that and all the times in summer where I was riding bikes with friends and just screwing around.”

With its simple, yet fun, and upbeat drum beat and the cute little keyboard progressions throughout the song, “Pretty Girl” definitely reminds me of a breezy summer day.  


“Driving to Hawaii” – Summer Salt

Out of all of my favorite summer songs, it was pretty hard for me to choose just one.  After much consideration, I settled on “Driving to Hawaii” by Summer Salt. 

“Driving to Hawaii” is a relatively mellow indie rock song by the indie/alternative rock band, Summer Salt.  Summer salt is reminiscent of the popular surf rock band, The Beach Boys.  Similar to The Beach Boys, Summer Salt performs a lot of summer and paradise themed songs, and they often feature a similar style of background vocals.  

In fact, during an interview with American Songwriter, lead singer Matthew Terry mentioned that “Surfer Girl” by the Beach Boys was a big inspiration for “Driving to Hawaii.”

In that same American Songwriter interview, Terry describes “Driving to Hawaii” as a ‘textbook I love you song.’  He said it could be about someone driving to Hawaii to create some sort of dream life, but even if that fantasy doesn’t come to life, everything will be okay if they have the person they love. 

“Driving to Hawaii” reminds me of hanging out at the beach with your friends or just having fun in the summer.  It always puts me in a good mood, and it’s a very well written and produced song in general.  

No matter the season, “Nhip Dan Vui,” “Two Weeks,” “Pretty Girl,” and “Driving to Hawaii” are all great songs.  If you’re looking for summery songs to listen to during your time off, these are all wonderful choices suggested by LN Knights.