Time for more fun & sun!
Hey, hey Sentinels around the world! It’s Luis here sharing more content with you regarding all things to do with action water sports, surf lifestyle and ocean awareness.
This week, I want to take it a bit slower, going for a lighter tone on my post. If you have been following my blog, you probably know that the last few weeks I have been writing about serious environmental issues, ocean conservation heroes, and intrepid cave rescues. Relevant and important topics, sure, but hey…
It’s the middle of summer!
What say we all get back to our favorite beach and continue having a great time? But wait, we need to take some awesome tunes with our beach kit, right?
Man, music is SO important to make memorable moments even better.
Why is that? What does music do to us? How does it manage impact our lives in so many positive ways, even after years go by, and still, we are moved, excited, happy? (or sad…but none of that here, please!).
Let’s take a closer look at this incredible and essential part of our lives. In my personal experience, I could not do without music, period. Especially during summer vacations. And I am happy to share with you my 10 favorite all-time summer tunes I never do without. Let’s get started!
But first…why is music so important to us?
It comes down to three factors: “self-actualization”, to “fulfill emotional needs”, and to “fulfill social needs”. Let me explain. When I mention self-actualization, I am referring to “the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone”. It can also be understood as:
Music spurs our creativity in so many ways. It releases us from the challenges we face in daily life. It connects with the imaginative part of our brain. Music encourages us to dream and ponder and reflect. It makes you feel good, as mentioned before, by releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones of our body. When you add to this to sunny days surrounded by friends and/or family in idyllic settings, it can be incredibly powerful, embedding and anchoring unforgettable moments that remain with us whenever we listen to this or that song.
What does music do to your state of mind?
“To fulfill emotional needs”…it’s a chemical thing. It goes back to the release of endorphins, as mentioned above. But what exactly are endorphins? What do they do to us and what are they really for? Take a look at this informal, but very helpful video. Endorphins are SO important and this is why:
So basically, Endorphins (and their close relatives, Enkephalins) are responsible for triggering that euphoric, feel-good emotion whenever we listen to an awesome tune, have sex (yay!) or do something that is pleasurable (like eating chocolate!). And this can affect our state of mind in so many positive ways. That’s why exercise can be so addicting when done regularly. “Runner’s high” is a good example of that.
“Stoke” is another good example and one more close to home.
“Fulfill social needs”…music integrates us, makes us come together, from love songs fro the love-struck couples to colossal music social events like Lola Palooza and beyond (think Pink Floyd or Bruce Springsteen concerts). Music gives us a feeling of belonging to an idea or concept expressed by these artists that we ourselves sometimes cannot express very well.
We rotate around “our tribe”, whether that be classic, metal, jazz, reggae, pop, rap, or an eclectic mix of all these. I personally find it an awesome moment in history where you can find so much musical wealth out there, and, most of all, it is so easily accessible, it blows my mind.
Where can you find the best music downloads?
So now that chemistry and sociology 101 are over, let’s get into the fun stuff. Where to get the best music downloads? As you may imagine, the answer, in this case, is: it depends. Have a look at this informative video from Android Police and you decide:
In the end, there are really two real choices here, although, honestly, I’m not much of a techie and gadgets person, so my personal favorite remains Apple Music.
Should you get a portable sound device?
Of course, listening to music can be a very personal thing. But come on, it’s summer, you are with friends and family. It’s beautiful out and the water is just perfect. You have got to share this moment with everyone! So, although mobiles are great for every day listening (commutes, workouts, standing in lines, etc.), portable sound devices are also an essential part of your summer kit. Whatever device you decide to get, I suggest you keep two main features in mind:
- Sound quality
There are many portable speakers out there but it really is a matter of personal choice. For me, shelling out a bit more money for these two features is well worth it.
And the BOSE SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker has been, hands down, one of the best investments I have ever made. It’s not only the brand, which I’ve been a fan of for several years now. It’s also that Bose hits the features mentioned above right on the nail. If I sound excited about this product, it’s because I am.
In fact, as I am writing to you right now, I have my little speaker sitting unassumingly on my desk and the sound quality coming out never ceases to amaze me. If you want to check it out, here’s a review I wrote about his little wonder speaker.
So should you get a portable speaker for this summer? Definitely! It will make a huge difference in your vacation experience. Trust me on this!
So who is your go-to performer out there for this summer?
Man, this is a hard one to answer. I will confess that I am no longer on top of today’s current music trends. I guess I gravitate towards rock, big time. Not to say that there are some pretty awesome indie and rap bands out there, but again, it’s old school for me.
There, I said it!
So I try to watch out for new bands on Itunes, Spotify, Youtube and even the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I know, I know, borderline lame, right? Also, Later…with Jools Holland keeps me pretty much up to date with the European scene.
Lately, these are the bands that have made me stop and listen:
- Florence and The Machine
- Steep Canyon Rangers
- Jaden Smith
- Billie Ellish
- Chris Lane
- Card B (really!)
- Five Seconds of Summer
- Rex Orange County
- Sting & Shaggy
- Arctic Monkey
- Foster The People
- Christine and The Queens
There are so many more! It’s one of the highlights of the evening, and a perfect way to end my day.
My summer playlist!
And finally, we come to the nitty-gritty. Without further ado, here’s my top ten 2018 summer playlist
1. Better Together (Jack Johnson).
This is such a soulful and mellow song. It’s one of my all-time favorite love songs. Great to play it with a beautiful sunset and a warm summer breeze!
2. Out In The Open (Steep Canyon Rangers).
I have been listening to country lately and found some pretty awesome bands. Steep Canyon Rangers sort of remind me of Eagles with their vocal range. This song is perfect for any summer road trip. Play it loud!
3. Three Little Birds (Bob Marley).
4. Love Will Find a Way (Eagles).
Notice a pattern developing here? Yeah, mellow love rock is big for me. This song, though, is so special. Eagles bassist Randy Eisner’s voice is so incredibly heartfelt and true, it never fails to amaze me. That and the band’s impeccable vocal harmony makes this song an instant summer classic. Add to that a side order of Tequila Sunrise and Desperado and see where the evening takes you!
5. Free Bird (Lynyrd Skinnard).
The live version at Oakland Coliseum Stadium in 1977 – c’mon…you know you want to hear it all!! (and yeah, Sweet Home Alabama also rocks!).
6. Bad to the Bone (George Thorogood).
If there is one song that conveys “badass” to me it is this song. I first saw the “Bad to the Bone” video on MTV back in the 80s. It immediately blew my mind away. Hey, anyone who can beat Bo Diddley in Pool is a total badass!
7. Thunderstruck (AC/DC).
So many jewels and so little time! Highway to Hell, Back in Black, Shoot to Thrill…all of them awesome. But Thunderstruck is my other ultimate road song. Especially when I’m feeling a bit sleepy!
8. Funky Kingston (Toots and The Maytals).
Happy, uplifting and unabashed. I just heard this reggae band a few days ago and I just had to add them to my official feel-good summer playlist. Whenever you want to get in a happy groove almost instantly, just play a few of their Jamaican, sun-drenched tunes!
9. No Tears Left To Cry (Ariana Grande).
Yep! Pop’s cool too! Especially coming from such an incredible talent as Ariana Grande. She is also hilarious…a natural comedian and performer. And did I mention she has an unbelievable vocal range? Grande can sing pop, country, gothic rock and many other music styles with such ease and grace it’s scary.
10. Girls Like You (Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B).
I confess I wasn’t much of a fan of Maroon 5 (the whole high pitched voice thing just didn’t rub on me the right way), but this song is an extremely catchy song and, hey, Cardi B features in it…pretty cool collaboration.
11. Don’t Make Me Wait (Sting & Shaggy)
Holy crap!! Talk about an unlikely collaboration working beautifully! The entire CD is amazing and so “beachy”. It’s perfect for blissfully swaying along with palm trees as the sun is setting…soft, warm ocean breezes gently blowing by…so cool! And also check this Shaggy classic, also with Sting…so fun!!
12. Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole (Somewhere over the Rainbow).
Hawaiian music has always been a favorite of mine. That includes traditional music, including songs from Dennis Pavao, Amy Hanaiali, George Kahumoku, Jr. and Keali’i Reichel, as well as more modern contemporary island artists such as The Brothers Cazimero, Makaha Sons, Hawaiian Style Band and Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole.
I have two additional favorites which I am going to include here which I can pretty much listen too, not only during summer, but all year long: “Live a Little” from Hawaiian Style Band and “ Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u”, interpreted by the Brothers Cazimero.
Sorry for going Moana on all of you but I honestly think I have some Polynesian in my blood…I just love island music! If you want to find out a bit more about Hawaiian music, here’s a couple more artists which I can recommend:
So there you have it. My 10 favorite songs for summer 2018. Some are not so well known, I know, especially the ones from the islands. But, hey, I’ve learned that keeping an open mind can lead to pretty amazing places (musically speaking).
So get out there, give free rein to your musical likes and start making memories over this summer. Because, in the end, memories are the one thing that remain and become truly priceless
What are your ultimate summer songs? Which your memories or moments have been influenced by songs during your summer vacations? I would love to hear your stories, anecdotes or memorable accounts. Or simply share your favorite song or songs in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading and let’s all continue listening and making unforgettable memories this summer. See you in the water!!