Music is big aspect of any road trip. You want to set the right mood, you want to stay awake, you want to have fun – especially if you have to drive through somewhere like Iowa (no offense Iowa. Your cornfields are … lovely). So I put together a Spotify list of songs I like to drive to! These are in no particular order, and I couldn’t figure out how to shuffle them around anyway. I’m new to Spotify so if anyone has any tips feel free to comment!
1. and 2. “Firework” and “Roar” by Katy Perry: I have a love/hate affair with Katy Perry. She makes some very good songs. She also makes some very not so good songs, and isn’t the best live performer in the world. But when she’s on, she is on – and these two songs are a blast to belt out in the car.
3. “Blow” by Kesha: I love Kesha. I love performers who are unabashedly weird and wonderful and don’t give a flip what you think. And she can actually sing – my range goes pretty high, and she hits notes that I couldn’t even dream of hitting. This song is fun, and the video is hilarious.
4. “Surrender” by Angels & Airwaves: This is usually not my type of music – I’m not the biggest Blink 182 fan, and this band features former member Tom DeLonge – but this song just makes me dance.
5. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel: Classic. Bonus points if you know all the words! I still wish he’d make an updated version of this song – like from where he left off in this song to now – but I guess he isn’t desperate enough for money.
6. “Everybody Wants You” by Billy Squier: Another classic song! Again it’s just super upbeat and makes me want to dance. Poor guy. He was so talented but had no stage presence – his career was literally killed by his terrible MTV videos.
7. and 8. “Remedy” and “Hard to Handle” by The Black Crowes: My dad plays guitar and is big into the blues, so I always gravitate towards bluesy rock songs and bands. These are a blast to sing.
9. “Gold on the Ceiling” by The Black Keys: Another Southern rock/bluesy band! I just got into them last year, after they kept showing up on various Pandora playlists. This song gets the blood pumping – it’s got a great beat.
10. “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes: I never used to like this song; I wasn’t the biggest fan of Jack White’s voice. It’s still not my favorite voice, but this song grew on me over the years. This bass line just will not quit, and the lyrics are quite good.
11. “Steady, As She Goes” by The Raconteurs: Another Jack White band. I had a version a while ago – I think it was a free song on iTunes for a bit – that is acoustic, rather than the electric original. I actually kind of preferred the acoustic version; you see the artistry that goes into the song rather than it being covered up by studio tricks. But the original here definitely jams along, and will keep your fingers tapping.
12. “Womanizer” by Britney Spears: There are a lot of Britney songs I could have put into this playlist, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the first song she did after she climbed out of her long slog of madness. I mean sure, she’s still not 100% but I remember seeing this video and thinking, “Hot damn she might be back finally”.
13. “Scream & Shout” by will.I.am and Britney Spears: Okay this is not high art, I know. But it is a fun song, has a good beat, and who can resist her “and Britney, bitch” aside?
14. “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash: One of the few punk bands I can stand. I appreciate punk’s place in music history, but most of it grates on my nerves. The Clash’s songs rock, but they’re fun too.
15. and 16. “Suffragette City” and “Dead Man Walking” by David Bowie: I could have made an entire playlist consisting of only Bowie songs, to be honest. I’ve loved everything he’s ever done, pretty much. But I limited myself to these two, one classic and one more recent-ish.
17. “Five to One” by The Doors: The Doors are not really known for their happy upbeat songs. I wouldn’t really call this one happy either, but it is primal, and one of the best showcases of Jim Morrison’s vocal prowess.
18. and 19. “Electric Twist” and “Blow Away” by A Fine Frenzy: Alison Sudol is one of the loveliest creatures to ever grace this planet, and I love her music so much. She errs on the side of ballads or slower songs, but these two just make me happy beyond all words.
20. and 21. “You’ve Got the Dirtee Love” and “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine: They have a new album coming out! Are you as excited as I am?! Like Bowie I could have just made a playlist of all of Flo’s songs but instead I picked two. The live mashup of “You’ve Got the Love” and “Dirtee Cash” she did with Dizzee Rascal at the Brit Awards never ever fails to get me dancing, and “Dog Days” will be known as a classic years from now.
22. “I’m No Angel” by The Gregg Allman Band: The anthem of flawed heroes everywhere. This is just a good song.
23. “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin: This is probably my absolute favorite Led Zepp song. The guitar work is flawless, it’s epic in both musicality and subject matter, and it shows how much range Robert Plant has in his voice – his trademark wail is very restrained here.
24. “Generals” by The Mynabirds: I talked about this song in an earlier post. Again, like A Fine Frenzy, this is a band whose music is usually softer, but this one is a rocker.
25. “I Like It” by Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull: This song makes you get up and dance. If it doesn’t I’m not so sure about you. Like “Scream & Shout” it’s not high art – and has some questionable lyrics – but it’s just a fun song.
26. “Ghost” by Ella Henderson: I saw an article about her on Buzzfeed, but I wasn’t so sure about this song at first. Fast forward a few months, and this song kept catching my ear every time it came on the radio, and now I’m obsessed with it. I don’t know why the Brits do soul better than us, but if you like Adele or Duffy or Amy Winehouse, check Ella out.
27., 28. and 29. “Dangerous”, “Summertime Sadness”, and “Our Solemn Hour” by Within Temptation: And now the metal portion of our program. I grew up listening to metal thanks to my mother – she listened to Black Sabbath and Judas Priest along with her classical and opera. In Europe (mostly) there is this whole sub genre of metal bands featuring operatic singers or elements; Within Temptation hails from Denmark and Sharon den Adel’s soprano voice adds major drama to these songs. It’s not on this playlist since it’s a ballad, but check out their version of Passenger’s “Let Her Go”.
30. “Red Stars” by The Birthday Massacre: This band’s songs are very melodic for a metal band; this is probably one of their hardest rocking songs that I’ve heard. Chibi’s voice sounds like a fairytale, which is interesting matched up with the head-banging music.
Here’s to good songs and good road trips – happy travels!