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Here’s The Playlist You Need For All Your Summer Barbecues

This playlist is something to go along with drinking beers in the backyard or having folks over for a barbecue—something to compliment, not overpower.


The Summer 2017 playlist is here—and wow, I outdid myself: 62 tracks, 3 hours, and 52 minutes (almost a full Springsteen concert’s worth!) of music released between 2015 and 2017. I won’t detail everything in here, because it’s quite a lot.

A quick caveat: some Federalist writers contributed tunes and suggestions, but this is by no means a democratically created playlist. So the exclusion of certain genres or artists is all on me. Bands from New Jersey and bands with horns may be a little overrepresented, sorry (not really).

This playlist is something to go along with drinking beers in the backyard or having folks over for a barbecue, that style of party—something to compliment, not overpower. I’d also suggest listening in sequence: there are some common threads through the various songs that ended up in the playlist and I tried to have it build to moments. Those moments tend to culminate in a Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul song, my favorite album of the summer.

Songs and Artists To Look Out For

I highly recommend checking out Jimbo Scott & Grover Anderson’s Freight, Vol. 1, “Ooh La La” is in the playlist but the whole EP is fantastic, both of their solo projects are also worth listening to. Ember, from Anderson’s “From the Pink Room,” is in the playlist and I suggest listening to his album “The Optimist.”

Dan Auerbach’s “Waiting on a Song” is an excellent album from the Black Keys member, here he’s found playing with a much wider range of sounds than you find in the Black Keys.

Two Door Cinema Club is a band that I had completely forgotten about but their new album “Gameshow” is a ton of fun. BNQT may have an odd name, but they’ve got a great sound: “L.A. On My Mind” made the rest of the album worth listening to.

Weezer’s “White Album” went, I think, unnoticed. But they’ve got some great tracks in there, as per usual. And speaking of pop-punk bands from the 90s, Blink-182’s “California” had me flashbacking to middle school and “Enema of the State” so naturally it made the cut.

I saw Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds open for Southside Johnny at the Stone Pony in 2016, and they were excellent. “Don’t Be Jealous” from their live album bursts with energy, great stuff.

Southside himself is represented with a couple tracks from “Soultime,” which goes perfectly with Little Steven’s “Soulfire” also well represented. The Boss made his way on here with a few River Outtakes, and closing out the New Jersey grouping is Brian Fallon with a couple tracks from his solo album “Painkillers.”

Hopefully you enjoy these tunes!