Thomas Jefferson

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My Sound of Music

Posted 05/24/2024 by Carlie Quinney

My personal favorite song is “Upside Down” by Jack Johnson due to the memories that correlate with the music. photo by Ravi Apte

Perfect performances that make me polka by the poolside.

Summer is here, and it’s time for some sunny new beats. As with holiday music, summertime brings its own, fresh category of music that stirs a warm feeling deep within. Still, everyone has their own version of summer music. Personally, I have some meaningful songs of my own that I will always be sure to include in my summer playlist. Some of these songs are straight from my childhood, and they also hold a contagious rhythm, perfect for summer vacation.

Slideby Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, and Migos. 

This pop song was released in 2017; its main feature, Calvin Harris, is a Scottish DJ and producer, who creates music popular for its versatility and variety. He has experience with Electronic Dance Music (EDM), pop, and house music. With all of this in mind, “Slide” brings a pleasing combination of many types of music. The song begins with a catchy beat that represents a summer vibe well. The music is loud and uplifting, in tandem with Frank Ocean’s vocals, and the lyrics are repetitive, making them easy to get stuck in anyone’s head. Later in the song, slow rap is introduced by Migos, a hip hop group. This group is made up of three musicians: Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset, who are all quite popular, as they are known for their creative style, dominating rap in the 2010s according to LATimes. This song would be a part of my summer playlist due to its positive beat and its variety of instruments. According to Song Facts, “Calvin Harris played every instrument on the track including piano, guitar, and keyboard.” “Slide” is one of the first songs that comes to mind when thinking about summer music because of its one of a kind combination of artists along with its empowering beat. 

Upside Down by Jack Johnson. 

This encouraging children’s song is originally from Curious George, an animated film. As the song was performed in 2006, it has been a major staple of my childhood for years. The lyrics of the song represent approaching challenges with new perspectives and curiosity. The repeated lyric, “I want to turn the whole thing upside down, I’ll find the things they say just can’t be found,” is used to convey how you may be able to learn new things if you keep pushing past challenges with new strategies. Based on my own interpretation of the song, I believe it spreads a positive message to society that you should share your discoveries as a way to inspire others. This song would be in my summer playlist because it holds a special place in my heart: my mom has sung it to me many times over since I was young. This song brings joy to me, just like the season of sunshine, so of course I would pair the two together. 

Passionfruit by Drake. 

This unique song was made by famous rapper and pop-star Drake. Although it may initially seem like the song may be some kind of fast rap, this Drake song is actually slow and peaceful, and the beat of the song is very calming and positive. According to Music Room, this song is actually characterized as “tropical house music.” I enjoy this song for its significant lyrics and the meaning behind the title: Passionfruit,” in my eyes the song conveys that you should work hard toward the things you strongly value – or the things you are passionate about. Not only that, but I also believe the song seeks to acknowledge the real-life issues you may be experiencing, and encourages listeners not to stress too much about them. The piano in the song and the claps in the background have done wonders to ultimately make this song very delightful to listen to throughout the summer. 

We Are The People by Empire of The Sun. 

Within popular culture, this song is widely considered to remind people of summertime. On Song Meanings, a website where people can share their own perception of song lyrics, numerous comments display how “We Are The People is an amazing song that reminds them of someone or something they love in the summer. The song itself is part of the alternative genre, and it was released in 2008. Empire Of the Sun is an Australian duo of electronic musicians Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore, whose most popular hit is “Walking On a Dream,” which was released in the same album as “We Are the People.” For me personally, this song is very relaxing to listen to, and I enjoy interpreting the lyrics. This song is important to me, as I enjoy listening to it on my own in a relaxing summer setting.

Saturday Sunby Vance Joy. 

This song was actually inspired by the sun and the beach. According to Vance Joy himself, he let his imagination take over, as passing the beach every day on his way to the studio put him in a better mood. This song reminds me of the summer because it represents the opportunities of finding something you love under the “Saturday Sun,” which just means the moments where responsibility is low and the temperature is high. The song begins when Vance Joy is conveying his loneliness, by saying lines such as, “I’m so tired of eating alone.” After describing how it felt to be in the sun, Vance Joy’s beat is much more uplifting and his compassion is shown through the guitar and the “ba-ba-ba’s” in the background of his music. I can somewhat relate to this song because I also find my interests to become more prevalent during the summer time. For me, I am able to reflect on myself and try new things during summer, which does a good job of putting me at ease. 

Creating a playlist for the coming summer is something that I will always look forward to doing. Something that will always stay in common with my playlists is the many songs that embody powerful messages. It’s also important to experience a number of different music genres because the perfect summer mix contains various musicians, instruments, and lyrical techniques. Regardless of all of these components, each song can be special to the summertime.