It’s summer time, and that means it’s time to drink sangria and listen to mood-setting tunes. All you need is a pitcher of your favourite recipe, a comfortable seating arrangement on a beach/poolside/patio/tropical-themed floaty ring in the kiddie pool in your backyard, some good company, and this playlist.
Play – Alysha Brilla (from Brilla)
Tanzanian-Canadian artist Alysha Brillinger kicks off the playlist with this laid back tune off her debut album. Her voice has hints of jazz and soul, while the rhythms behind her pull from blues, reggae, and even South American influences. Pairs well with those first sips.
Velha e Louca – Mallu Magalhaes (from Pitanga)
The epitome of sangria music. She’s a Brazillian indie artist who sings in Portuguese and English and owns the beachy vibes with her laid back vocals and interesting mix of electric and acoustic guitars, and a touch of cavaquinho (Brazilian ukulele). Also, “Veh-lee-a eh Loh-ca” means “old and crazy,” in case you were wondering.
Gyasi Went Home – Bedouin Soundclash (from Sounding a Mosaic)
A touch of ska rock from their earlier album Sounding a Mosaic. Quick strumming, a catchy bass line, and Jay Malinowski’s raspy vocals will get your head bobbing and feet tapping.
Lorraine – Sweet Thing (from Sweet Thing)
It’s a shame Sweet Thing only has a single album, but it’s one of my all-time favourite albums. This tune’s got everything from catchy guitar riffs, to intense rock solo, to smooth jazz interlude, to whistling. Oh, and that Tyler guy from Popular Mechanics for Kids (no really, check it out).
Hold On – Alabama Shakes (from Boys & Girls)
Slow the tempo with some fantastic bluesy rock. It keeps the vibe chill with contagious guitar riffs, a touch of twang, and a whole lot of soul.
Loin d’ici – Coeur de pirate featuring Sam Roberts (from Blonde)
I went to see her live in Vancouver a couple years ago (sans Sam) and she described this as her attempt at a “country song.” Its laidback beat and her clean voice against Sam’s smooth vocals pair well with some later glasses.
Island – Yuna (from Yuna)
Lovely, breezy song from this Malaysian artist-on-the-rise. Soft vocal harmonies, brushes, and airy synth go down nice and smooth with your sangria. And the title is suiting for some relaxing island living.
Unbelievers – Vampire Weekend (from Modern Vampires of the City)
Light, uppity rock that’s great for relaxing in the sun while you sip, going for a beachside stroll (or poolside laps?) with a drink in hand, or getting your grill on and dancing after finishing off a glass. It’s even got a Celtic flute flare towards the end to keep it interesting.
I Guess It’s Gonna Rain Today – Sondre Lerche
While the title sounds gloomy, this Norweigan artist brings fresh sounds of brass and violins into his light acoustic rock.
The Cave – Mumford and Sons (from Sigh No More)
Top off that pitcher with some tempo! A throwback to their debut album’s ability to bring energy to acoustic folk without a drum kit. Perfect for a dance break and sing along as you polish off that last glass.
Cheers to sangria season, wherever you choose to enjoy it!