There is no denying my love for hiking, camping and seeing the best of what nature has to offer. One of the most underrated aspects of doing activities like that, is the act of getting to those places. That’s where road trips come into play. “The road trip” is a kind of rite of passage and with that rite come certain tests both physical and mental that you need to overcome. In this way, music can make or break a trip. For me, music needs to be constantly playing especially on the trips where I was traveling alone. Music soothes me and puts my mind at ease. During my trips, I became attached to certain songs that I found myself listening to over and over again. Some of these are traditional “road trip” songs like “Take Me Home Country Roads” yet others are sort of random but they hold a special meaning for me. Hope you guys enjoy!
Playlist for the week of: Anytime, Anyroad, USA
- Traveling Alone by Tift Merritt: What better way to start? This song galvanized me, inspired me and made me feel comfortable with the decision to go on a solo road trip adventure.
- The Morning of Our Lives by Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers: another inspirational song but that’s the best kind of music while driving and contemplating the open road. Very easy-going song but it still hits you in the right spots to get you feeling good and get you going.
- Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver: the absolute perfect road trip song. Can’t tell you how many times I find myself singing this song in the car either by myself or in a car full of my close friends.
- Light by Big Sean: the first proverbial wrench, this song would not normally fall into a “road trip” playlist but it’s special to me personally. This song speaks to me and fills me with confidence and it was always one of the first songs I would play as I pulled out of a campsite, ready to conquer the day.
- She’s Gone by Daryl Hall and John Oates: Kind of a personal reason for having this song on here but this track definitely helped get me through a tough time. It’s kind of a sad song but at the same time, it feels triumphant to me. I tried to channel that feeling and energy everytime I listened to it.
- Holla if Ya Hear Me by Kweku Collins: Kweku Collins is a guy I’ve discovered in the last year or two and he’s quickly become one of my favorite artists. This was the song that introduced him to me and my summer ’17 road trip was the trip that cemented my fandom of him. I must have played this whole album 50 times and this song in particular at least a hundred times. Favorite lines: “So say hello. If you won’t, I will. Just give me a sec, to come down from right here. I might be a fool. For how I live. Gotta take me a rest. Cuz shit got too real.”
- Lake Shore Drive by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah: Best listened to while driving through Golden Gate Park, San Francisco on an overcast grey city day. Let looSe your minD and let the music take hold.
- Good Old Days by Macklemore f/ Kesha: Another proverbial wrench especially since I don’t really fuck with Macklemore that heavy. My reasoning for the inclusion of this track is simply replay value. While driving, I constantly found myself singing the hook to this song which invariably led to me putting it on. Something about this song takes me back to kicking it with the homies cruising around in a big SUV driving around Orange County.
- Take Me Home, Country Roads by Toots and The Maytals: the absolute perfect road trip song….in reggae form. Put ’em up in the air if you got em.
- Out on the Weekend by Neil Young: I love the first few lines of this song: “Think I’ll pack it in/And buy a pick-up/take it down to L.A./Find a place to call my own/And try to fix up/Start a brand new day.” Hearing those lines while driving down an empty highway with the ocean on your right and the fog swirling around my car was uplifting. Firstly, it helped me to feel as if I wasn’t alone, that other people had felt similar feelings and secondly, I was in the process of finding my “brand new day,” so the song is inspirational to me in more ways than one.
- Good Times by Sam Cooke: One of my favorite songs of all time and also a favorite road trip song. I remember being incredibly pissed at idiotic motorists at one point or another during my travels. This is the song that always brought me back to center and reminded me be nice and civil and that I am in no hurry. Just gotta keep living in each moment.
- A Change is Gonna Come by Greta Van Fleet: Some hard rock is always needed on a road trip and Greta Van Fleet is a band that sounds classic but brings a hard, edgy modern influence to their music. This Sam Cooke cover is incredible and might possibly be the only time I’ve picked a Sam Cooke song and not used him as the main artist. I think that speaks to how good Greta Van Fleet is.
- Neon Guts by Lil Uzi Vert f/ Pharrell Williams: Uzi might seem like a strange inclusion to some but this was the track that put him on the map for me. After listening to this song, I proceeded to play his whole album Luv is rage 2 for the rest of my summer road trip. It spoke to me in a number of ways, it’s inspirational and this song in particular just makes me feel good.
- Baby Driver by Simon and Garfunkel: While staying in San Jose, I watched the movie Baby Driver for the first time. I enjoyed the movie well enough but what really gripped me was the soundtrack, especially this track. It’s the perfect driving song for when you need to get from point A to point B quickly and efficiently.
- Danny’s Song by Loggins and Messina: this is the type of song you roll the windows down and let the fresh air blow through the car. Turn the volume up and sing your heart out.
- El Paso by Marty Robbins: This is my designated desert song. Best listened to while driving through Mojave with the desert plants reaching out in desperation for a drop of water. I can’t help but feel like a gunslinger while I’m driving and listening to this track.
- To Make You Feel My Love by Billy Joel: Originally written by Bob Dylan but it’s this Billy Joel version that really hits me in the feels. I can’t tell you how many times this song came on in the car which immediately triggered a vocal response from me as I belted out every single word. The first lines always grab me: “When the rain is blowing in your face/And the whole world is on your case/I could offer you a warm embrace/To make you feel my love.”
Hope you guys enjoyed the write up and I really hope you use this playlist on your next road trip!
Peace! and much love to you….