Fab’s alternative guide to Summer Music.

Name something, anything, better than paying $5 for an iced coffee (reminder: coffee and water), waiting hours in a mile long line for a scoop of trendy ice cream or sweating profusely from areas you didn’t even think possible. As I write this, it is currently hailing, something I didn’t even know to be possible in summer, but it will surely become a dazzling evening filled with sun and joy. The only thing as predictably unpredictable as Toronto weather, is the fact that I enjoy nothing more than driving with the windows down blasting my music abrasively like Radio Raheem from Do the Right Thing.

Aside from flamboyantly bright colours and wearing far too much floral, there are few things I enjoy more than driving with good tunage as my face drips with sweat. I think about what song I’m going to pull up to a red light with, 13 hours a day. I literally envision myself being asked by the person driving next to me what song I’m listening to, and me happily telling him and changing their life forever. I dream of a world, where when I’m stopped by a “Because I am a Girl” employee who sees my Tokyo Police Club shirt and says “I love Tokyo Police Club!” her answer to my “what’s your favourite song by them?” question isn’t “oh, so many to choose from, I possibly can’t choose!”. Yeah fuck off, you probably think they reside in Tokyo.

For example, you pull up to the street light, 26 degrees celsius, 74 with humidex, your windows rolled all the way down, your Club Masters stuck to your face, and “She’s Long Gone” by The Black Keys is full blast. I do not care who is next to you, if they do not turn their head and ask what song you’re listening to, you cut him off, park your car, and make sure he and everyone else behind him does not catch that left turn advance.

I think about summer music a lot, far too much I think. What’s appropriate for day? What’s appropriate for the evenings? Should there be one for chill vibes? For angry vibes? For sexy vibes? 😉

So then comes the question, how do you accommodate the obscene amount of music taste there is out there. I realize my taste mostly doesn’t fly at parties, or places where you need to play well known hits. Indie rock does not hype most people up even if you make a playlist solely consisting of The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Oasis. Let’s face it,  Fleet Foxes and Tame Impala don’t exactly scream inclusive, and so I have to rely on moments, feelings and specific moods for my playlists or else I may just be shit on in a general context.

Should your playlists consist of tried and true favourites for security purposes, or should they consist of songs you know should be classics and risk people saying “what the fuck are we listening to”? Probably a blend is fair, but there are such quintessential songs for summer, that sometimes you actually just can’t listen to them because of how played out they are. Re: Electric Feel, by MGMT.  But maybe, throw that in after “Mess Around” by Cage the Elephant and it becomes more enjoyable. I’ll just bow out of the party making playlists, I’ll leave that to the Hip Hop/Pop fans.

Okay, so here comes an attempt at a music guide via what a usual…okay, ideal date night would look like in terms of musical enjoyment. I wake up from an afternoon slumber, because watching Girls and Master of None all day is exhausting. I lie in bed for twenty minutes checking social media as if anything has happened in the last hour, and then I lie in bed for another twenty minutes imagining what type of life my imaginary dream girl and I can start together.

“Ok, Fab, you have a hot date with a beautiful girl tonight, you better shower because hygiene is important” and so I jump in the shower, and give myself 2 songs. Boom, 2 summer songs to start the evening to ensure maximum summer vibes. I want to make sure I’m in a good mood for the rest of the night, so I play “Cousins” by Vampire Weekend, because I dare you not to dance to it, and then “Molotov Girls” by The Zolas, because the chorus makes for a perfect warm up to the vocal chords. So now, you have practiced good hygiene, warmed up your legs, and your vocal chords, and can confidently proceed in your process of getting ready.

Now I’m out and my music continues to chime throughout the house, whether my parents like it or not.  I apply deodorant because hygiene again, and then I brush the ol’ teeth, because bad breath is not underrated.  I play a 3 minute song because I always follow the dentist’s instructions. “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” by LCD Soundsystem is my choice, as it’s essential to setting the mood up for the night. It’s groove-tastic, and that bass line can drive you to your date instead of your car.

Now I pop open the wardrobe, and let the fit flow through me. I ponder to “Punching in a Dream” by The Naked and Famous, and brush my hair in rhythm to the crazy drum solo at the end. I put on my watch, put product in my hair, jump out of the house, and immediately plug the iPod in.

The car ride there contains specific songs to hype me up. I want something I love, but I know that when she gets in the car I have to accommodate her unknown music taste, so I get the weird stuff out quick. I start with “White Sky”, by Vampire Weekend because I love yelling and straining my vocal chords. I also like to let the world know I have very strange taste in music.

After that, I take it down a notch, and play “Oh Cecilia” by Born Ruffians because what song represents being obsessed with a girl better than this one.

As my final song, I play “My Number” by Foals, to remind the world that you indeed do not have my number. I am my own man, and although I can give out my number to anyone, I do not.  Therefore you do not have my number, unless of course, you do.

I’m parked outside of the house, and I debate whether or not I should stand outside the door like Zach when he takes Summer to Prom in The O.C. I’m nervous, so I sit in the car pretending to look busy, but really I’m just picking the perfect song for her entrance.

“Okay quick, she’s coming in the car, pretend like you haven’t just started a song”. “Someday” by The Strokes plays, and it’s at this moment where I wait for her reaction. If she says “I love this song”, I let the playlist role, if she doesn’t know it, I march up to her door, ask to speak to her father, and have a word with him about the upbringing of his daughter.

If however, she knows the song, I’ll give her a safe song next. “Do I wanna know” or “R u Mine” by the Arctic Monkeys are always safe bets, and as it plays in the background, I’m killing the whole conversation part.

Great company, great music, great weather; so far so good. But now I have to let her know, I have fun. To let her know I like happiness, and pop music, I play “Hot Tonight” by Tokyo Police Club, followed by “Tear in my Heart” by Twenty One Pilots.

I arrive at the destination, and despite the fact that I have headphones (with a splitter) and a portable stereo ready to go, I can’t listen to music on the date because it would be rude to over power her voice with “Something Good Can Work” by Two Door Cinema Club. 


Okay, I’m back. Killed the date (not literally), and killed the fit (more importantly). She gets back in the car, and I have her vibe now. I know she trusts me so I get a little bit more freaky. I start off with a song that is yet to disappoint on first listen. “The Other Side of Paradise” by Glass Animals.

Off of the original “WHO” I know she’s in. I sing in his falsetto to let her know singing and driving is essential to happiness, and despite my wretched voice, I have the confidence of Jack White. She says she loves this song, and it sounds so cool…so me, high off of her compliment, give her another dose of the Animals, via “Season 2 Episode 3”.

To take it home, (no pun intended) I play “Home by Now” by Bombay Bicycle Club because it’s chill, vibey, and represents that light breeze at 22 degrees celsius.

It’s getting late now, and I have maybe 2 songs left. I want to leave that lasting musical impression, so I play “I Know There’s Gonna be Good Times” by Jamie XX, and then to finish it off I play “Losing You” by Milky Chance, because if her heart and soul doesn’t melt upon listening to the guitar solo I know she’s not human… and everyone knows there is no point of going on a second date with a cyborg.  (Unless she’s Android 18 from Dragon Ball Z…always loved her.)

The dates over and I lower the music. Time passes. Things happen——–, she gets into her home…and I fist bump and nearly dislocate my shoulder. I lower all four windows and turn the volume to 50 (max in my car), and play “When the Sun Goes Down” by Arctic Monkeys, and “Diane Young” By Vampire Weekend, immediately after.

I rave for 6 minutes, before bringing it down to earth with “Breezeblocks” by Alt-J, because it contains one of the most fun bridges in a song to sing along to, especially after a good night.

I let Borns serenade me with the amazing intro of “Past Lives”, and then let him take it to the 80’s as I grind on my steering wheel. I pull into my drive way, close the windows, leave the car with my key in the ignition and the car fully on, (because my mind was elsewhere 😉 but finally come back to retrieve it.

My head hits the pillow, and I imagine the date and plan my future wedding with a girl I haven’t even gone on a second date with. I smile, because I know I can go to bed knowing there is still a shit tonne of great summer music to show off to her. Date 2: She’ll get some St. Vincent, some Tame Impala, and if she’s lucky, maybe, just maybe, some more Vampire Weekend.


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