Yes, we are officially there... Summer '22 was one to remember as it was one of the best summers of my life. I went to tons of concerts, season four of Stranger Things dropped, I got to see my favorite band Greta Van Fleet in concert (live review here). While most people would agree they're always sad to see summer go, I'm always elated to begin the Fall season (Fall playlist coming soon). While summers are nice for awhile, when you don't feel like you're gonna pass out from the heat, or your AC breaks, or your job has better AC... Fall welcomes everyone with cool breezes, amazing smells and Halloween everything! Although we're glad to see the heat drop (possibly because I do live in the midwest) we'll always hold Summer '22 in our hearts forever... But don't grasp your summer blues just yet... We're breaking down the 22 songs that helped us beat the heat of Summer '22.
#1 Light My Love - Greta Van Fleet: 2022 is really Greta Van Fleet's year. Or if you're me, since 2018, every year is GVF's year. Last year, it was "Heat Above" for me. This year, it's been "Light My Love." Something about frontman Josh Kiszka's vocals, hypnotic lyrics such as "Hate bound by fear will unwind", and those astonishly gazing rainbow lights during their live performance. For some reason or another, this track has provided comfort for myself through dark times and it shall continue to for the rest of my days.
#2 Heat Waves - Glass Animals: Alright I know this song is considered "a song of the past" since its debut in 2020, but I truly love listening to this song at all times of the year. It just hits different in summer. Although it's a pretty depressing song, whenever I hear this, it just reminds me of summer. I visualize memories of summer such as summer concerts, hangin' out at the pool, beaches and cozy nights.
#3 Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush: This list would NOT be complete without this song. When this song first started blowing up within the first few days of Stranger Things 4 Volume 1's release, I didn't understand it. Of course I had already binged the entire volume by then, but I think I was so focused on the scene and did not realize the song behind it. When I went back to that scene and heard what everyone else was hearing, I broke down in tears. I started hearing those lyrics and started connecting them to my own life. My interpretation of that scene is that your demons will be chasing after you, but you're stronger than them. You're able to see memories of yourself at your happiest and you're reminded of your worth. And hearing your favorite song (whether it's Kate Bush, Greta Van Fleet, Harry Styles) you can escape your demons and find relief for yourself.
#4 23 - The Warning: Contrary to belief, this is my favorite song from The Warning's latest album, ERROR (review here). Showcasing the breathtaking vocals from drummer Paulina Villarreal, this track has embraced me as if I'm a character in a rock opera. When the bridge elevates and Paulina heightens her vocals with powerful lyrics - "Cross my heart and hope to die/Can't you see that I want you so bad that I can barely breathe/Can't you see that you're killing me too slowly." is my favorite part of the song.
#5 Shadowboxes and Porcelain Faces - Hannah Wicklund: The stripped-down version of this song from Hannah Wicklund's 2020 EP The Inbetween is an acoustic masterpiece that's so calming to me. It provides perfect meditative sounds and powerhouse vocals. Hannah recently stated in a Tik Tok that she wrote this song to remind herself that social media doesn't tell the full story and that imperfections and "the inbetween" are where we truly get to know and learn to love others and ourselves.
#6 Flower Power - Greta Van Fleet: This song just screams summer to me. I believe the first time I heard it was in 2018 Spring going into Summer. The keys, the soft acoustics, the lyrics, everything feels so perfect within this song. My favorite lyrics are - "Turn to night fire light/Star shines in her eye/Makes me feel alive/She's outta sight." The power of freedom, creativity and women live within this song and it will always be one of my favorite GVF songs. And in the live version towards the very end, Josh sometimes sings "As the years pass by my mind" and I've always found myself infatuated with that. And those keyboard sounds at the end? When Sam Kiszka takes us to church? PLEASE.
#7 Animal - Def Leppard: I would have never thought I'd find myself at a Def Leppard + Motley Crue show ever, but life works in mysterious ways and they were my first ever stadium show this summer. Although "Love Bites" has been my favorite Def Leppard song for years, I was introduced to "Animal" this summer and instantly fell in love with it. It's as if this song holds some kind of power and I feel insanely motivated by it every time.
#9 Dr. Feelgood - Motley Crue: It's only fair to have The Crue on this list as well. This song is one I've definitely heard all my life and never dreamed I would hear it live, especially in a stadium. This is the song that defines this band for me.
#10 She's Hot - William Hinson: It wouldn't be a perfect top 10 without singer/songwriter William Hinson and his latest summer lovin' hit, "She's Hot." Written for his girlfriend's best friend who was going through a tough time, the soft acoustics and captivating melodies are enough to swoon you. That mesmerizing chorus will forever be etched upon my mind as I gaze into summer memories.
#11 Another Last Time - Dirty Honey: One of my favorite songs I've discovered in my 20s and I can never get enough of it. This song always reminds me of the end of a concert, the end of an amazing trip, the bar closing down for the night, so many situations it could be.
#12 Pupkin - Ultra Q: Early in Summer '22, I was graced with seeing one of my favorite bands ever, Ultra Q (live review here). Although I'd obviously already heard the track on their EP Get Yourself A Friend, it was a different experience hearing it live. For some reason, that particular song was the one that stuck with me from that very special concert.
#13 Night Changes (Spotify Sessions) - One Direction: Although I was never really a 1D fan, I know tons of their songs just from being around in the world when they were on top of it. The acoustic version of this song has resonated with me a lot over the last couple of years. It's another one of those songs I can listen to all year long and never get sick of. I've seen this version of the song has been played over people's Instagram reels + Tik Tok videos that feature summer memories. The lyrics "We're only getting older baby/I've been thinking about lately/Does it ever drive you crazy/Just how fast the night changes" have echoed in my mind as I've grown older.
#14 California Dreamin' - The Beach Boys: Ah yes, this one embraced me in May when Stranger Things came out. It felt like such an invitation for a warm summer. When I heard it in the first episode of Stranger Things 4, I had visions of what a wonderful summer it would be, yet still clueless how amazing this summer was.
#15 Fever Dream - Palaye Royale: Closing it out with last and never ever least, "Fever Dream" by Palaye Royale. Aka my favorite song to come out this year. This song debuted at exactly the right time in my life, in the universe, etc. The way lead singer Remington Leith sings “Follow me into this fever dream/We can be anything and everything/We want to be if we believe” is enough to capture hearts and motivate me.
If you liked this list, you'll LOVE our upcoming Fall playlist. Stay tuned! And goodbye summer. We won't miss you too much.