Need a new playlist for those late summer barbecues? ExComm has got you covered.
Each summer, KCSB gains a new Executive Committee made up of 18 members that together are responsible for the planning and execution of daily station operation and programming. Together, we also curated this summer-camp playlist for you! While we plan for an outdoorsy retreat of our own, we thought up of unique songs to accompany the various camping activities you might be up to.
Find out why we think these particular songs should play over your swim sesh, grill time, bonfires, and stargazing ✰
☆ Sunrise. Let’s get the day started ☆
“Forget” – Stokeswood
Listen to the first 20 seconds with your eyes closed, and it just feels like the sunrise. The weaving of upbeat and mellow personifies the balance of getting up to speed with our fast-paced daily lives. A regular on my morning drive playlist for the past 4 years, I’m sure it’ll give you that morning boost to go head on into the day.
“Romeo” – Chairlift
The lead in “On your marks, get set” sets you up for a race to the top. The perfect way to get the heart rate up, and who knows, maybe you will even beat the sunrise too.
“Coffee” – Jeshi
This song by East London rapper Jeshi perfectly encapsulates some stream-of-consciousness thoughts that can occur in the early morning . From the iPhone alarm starting the track, super laid back production and sampling, and Jeshi’s casual-yet-aggressive flow, this song sets you up to hit your day-at-camp with a running start.
“Sugar” – Unusual Demont
With a trance-like, hypnotic beat and a great melodic hook, Unusual Demont is able to pull you straight into fawning over a crush at summer camp. This laid-back yet upbeat track gives a great vibe to start off a long day of activities. If that sounds nice to you, then sugar, you’ve got something special 😉.
“The Semimodular Bird of Jazz” – Felipe Gordon
The party has to start at some point, and why not have the good vibes come in the early morning? This super bouncy dance track from Colombian producer Felipe Gordon brings that feeling with a chill-but-fun house beat and tons of super eclectic and jazzy synth runs. These ear-catching candy riffs and clean production are sure to put you right on the edge of your cabin balcony, watching the sunrise as you tap your foot to the beat.
☆ On the Water! Dive in ☆
“Cómo Me Quieres” – Khruangbin
The opening track off Khruangbin’s second album, Con Todo El Mundo, is the perfect song to enjoy while basking in the summer heat. The hazy, reverb-heavy, melodic guitar captures the heavy feeling of the sun and the bassline provides the groove necessary to keep you swaying on the sand.
“Piero Piccioni” – Mexican Dream
Although I love soundtracks written by composers from all around the world, there’s something special about how Italian film scores pull me into a setting that draws me to listen to them more than any other countries. Chief amongst these Italian composers is Piero Piccioni, who spent a half century crafting some of the most memorable and forward looking film songs I’ve heard. This one, Mexican Dream from the film Colpo Rovente evokes the relaxing feeling of swimming in the summertime, and thus I think is a perfect contribution for this playlist.
“The Alchemist” ft. Big Body Bes – Uptown Aquarium
Thanks to legendary producer The Alchemist, we now have two volumes of the ideal hip hop for summertime boat parties, Yacht Rock. Uptown Aquarium, off the second installment, features Big Body Bes boasting several outlandish nautical flexes, making for a very entertaining track perfect for play on watercrafts of any size and caliber.
“Summer” – Skinshape
Not every day of summer feels quintessentially “summery.” But every summer, we are lucky to get a day or two where the sun is blazing down, and we have nothing to do but lounge around in the pool or the ocean while food is cooking on the grill- those days that end with a slight sunburn and a roasted marshmallow. I really believe that this is the perfect song to listen to while lounging on a floatie in the pool on one of these days. The instrumentation and mixing of the guitars- which are drenched in a wah/reverb/delay effect- as well as the vocals- which are layered in such a way that produces a textured complexity within the song- nail the feeling of freedom that one feels while lounging in a body of water.
“Bikes” – Rubblecat
Every time I listen to this song, I notice my head starts to move to the steady rhythm of the drums. Songs that make you move like this are perfect for riding your bike along a coastline, the steady beat causing your legs to move at a quick one-two pace, ultimately leading you to break a sweat as the horns and organ kick in. By the end of the song, you’ll be ready to jump into a cold pool or ready to feel the chill of the ocean send a shock through your system.
☆ Activities! Hiking, tossing a football around, you name it ☆
“Vagabond” – Caamp
If you’re craving for some granola girl summer vibes, Caamp will satisfy that need. This song will make you feel like you’re running through a field in the middle of nowhere under the summer sun or riding a horse at top speed, wind in your hair with a smile on your face
“Rocky Mountain High” – John Denver
Feel the peace of hiking through a forest or up a mountain with John Denver by your side. Rocky Mountain High will guide you through the beauties of the nature around you.
☆ Grilling Music. Burger vibes ☆
Whether I’m grilling or camping or grilling while camping, I usually just listen to Jersey Club mixes and DistantCry beats whenever I’m on aux. But you should definitely listen to these songs if you’re ever handed the keys to both the grill and the aux at the same time, a daunting task for sure.
“Ween” – Can u taste the waste
Really any Ween song fits here given the duo’s history with food references in their songs, but this one would be especially funny to listen while eating a burger due to the eroticism behind it and the cryptic nature of the question at hand. I also simply don’t think there’s a band with a more grill-core aesthetic than Ween. Honorable mentions include Smash Mouth, Steely Dan, Alex G. I can’t really articulate it but sometimes an artist’s music just screams “burger.”
“Ruth White” – Spleen
This poem always makes me hella hungry.
“Algernon Cadwallader” – Spit Fountain
Emo and its subgenres are intimately linked with summer, more so than any other season. Names like Indian Summer, Summer 2000, Pictures of June, JUNE OF 44, the Swedish label ‘see you next summer!’, “Polar Bear Summer” by I Hate Myself, and “End of the Summer” by Joyce Manor are all evidence of this. I realize this has little to do with grilling but Algernon Cadwallader has unrivaled summer camp energy among emo bands so it’s worth including here, with that added bit of context.
“The Pot is on Fire” – Ibibio Sound Machine
What better soundtrack to cook up a hearty campfire stew than a song called “The Pot is on Fire?” This Ibibio Sound Machine gem features the sounds of clinking of pots and pans on top of a driving west afro electro funk gem of horns, synth and percussion that will have you dancing around the campfire all night long.
“Fire” – Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s cover of Arthur Brown’s “Fire” is the disco dessert you’ll need to keep the group moving and grooving well into the night. Let the sing-songy catharsis of the words “I bid you to burn” ring in your ears as you’re bouncing marshmallows to the beat over a crackling fire.
☆ Stargazing. Time to kickback ☆
“Water Temple” – Jabu
This is a song that definitely comes on during my own star staring seshes. Each layer is dreamlike, altogether creating this serene atmosphere for you and air around you. It’s slow, it’s full of intimacy, and sonically, I’d say this is one of Jabu’s heaviest songs. Find a good spot to lie down and a good sky to stare at for this one. It’s just you, whoever you’re with, and the moon.
“CONFLICT-RESOLUTION” – Robb Bank$
Once the entire world stops at night, it’s almost like all you have left are your thoughts. Hundreds of songs into his career, Robb Bank$ finally finds the comfort to be at some of his most personal and refined. He sings over a beat reminiscent of Timbaland and Aaliyah, interpolates J Lo’s “I’m Real”, samples Kentaro Miura’s Berserk, and then samples “Surrender” by Kut Klose—all in the most cohesive way possible. That’s a lot dude. The night time is for getting existential, wondering where you went wrong, and being real with yourself. This song can be a fun way to do just that.
“Breathe” – IDK
Coming from IDK’s collaborative album with the talented producer Kaytranada, Simple., this song is perfect for zoning out while looking at the stars. Slower than some of the other music he creates, he includes his own soothing vocals and synth chords throughout the song to create a surreal atmosphere for the listener while talking about getting “high.” In the sky of course…
“Tangerine Dream” – Snoh Aalegra
What would stargazing be without some amazing female R&B voices?? Off of her perfectly named album for this occasion, TEMPORARY HIGHS IN THE VIOLET SKIES, this song touches on Snoh’s experience with a previous love interest, and in the first verse she delves into her experience running into him again on a plane to New York. If hearing her talk about flying through the sky as if it’s a dream isn’t enough for you, her vocals will for sure teleport you to a different world as you stare up into the sky.
“My Whole Life” – Alina Baraz
I meannn, what did I just say about female R&B voices again? This song by Alina Baraz, although talking about seeing her whole life with her lover, can make one contemplate their own whole life while laying on a blanket, surrounded by trees, just taking everything in. The perfect way to dissociate if I do say so myself.
☆ Late night fire/smores/scary stories ☆
“Under the Sun” – Spellling
This Spellling song feels like being at the end of a long day, watching the sunset slowly transform the campground into a horror movie set. “Yesterday is clean and gone.” The real fun has only just begun now that the day is clean and gone, and night is upon us.
“Passage Brady” – POISON GIRL FRIEND
I wanted eery and moody, and this song from POISON GIRL FRIEND felt fitting. Like it’s just now dawning on you that you’re alone in the woods hanging out with people you know nothing significant about. The vocals feel like a ghost story come alive. The downtempo, trip-hop beat creates an ambiance fit for getting lost staring into a fire.
“Summer Cozy Rock” – Orange Ocean
To me, summer nights hold quite some sentimental value. I love the feeling of lying down and gazing into the summer night sky together with my friends or girlfriend, and Orange Ocean’s “Summer cozy Rock” reminds me of that cozy and nostalgic feeling. Despite being a Chinese band, Orange Ocean is heavily influenced by Britpop bands in the last century, and the result is this cozy little song. I think that it fits all the activities at night, such as stargazing, and it definitely works as background music when everyone is chilling.
“TORISUGITA DAKE NO NATSU (The Summer that Just Passed By)” – Yura Yura Teikoku
Yura yura teikoku is a legendary Japanese psychedelic rock band, and their music always have that “lazy” feeling to it. I would say that it has similar vibes to the Orange Ocean song, and hey, these two songs have “summer” in their names!