How do you know that summer has officially come? For me, it is not knowing what to wear because it is 80 degrees with sunny skies but freezing cold inside my classrooms at the Green Center. But if you cannot find time to enjoy true summer as final exams are rolling in, I hope you are still tuned in - to summer music! Let’s explore different notes of cute sundresses and blazing light, shall we?

Image of The Band CAMINO, courtesy of Rolling Stone.

1. The Band CAMINO - “I Think I Like You”

For the first morning of your road trip when you cannot open your eyes, get into the groove with this feel-good song from the Nashville-based rock band. Special shout-out to my favorite college radio station WGRE for introducing me to The Band CAMINO’s music! Although the song resembles a romantic confession, I see this as something to blast out with your friend group when the windows roll down and salty wind fills the air!

2. Coldplay - “Yellow”

Bonfires, starry nights, secret kisses, unrequited love — how come the most bittersweet moments are often found in summer? I like to imagine that Coldplay wrote this song during moments like those because it sounds like a solemn time you know for sure will pass, but you desperately want to hold onto. Listen to the mesmerizing slow tune, and feel the world “turn into something beautiful.” 

3. Harry Styles - “Watermelon Sugar” 

I really like strawberries. This song is not about strawberries, watermelon, or any type of fruit, and I would rather not go into detail about what it actually says. Regardless, it is the perfect song for a night out! Harry Styles’ vocals sound so pleasant and drunk, and the three-word chorus easily gets inside your head. Perhaps don’t listen to it right before your three-hour final exam? 

4. Lauv ft. Sofía Reyes - “El Tejano”

Another song that you really shouldn't listen to before taking your finals — I made that mistake. With her Spanish verse, Sofía Reyes brings to the tune a sexiness, a mystery that I don’t often see in Lauv’s music, having followed him for a long time. El Tejano is a North Hollywood restaurant and bar that Angelenos know to be the place for music industry mixers. This flirtatious tune is about falling in love on the dance floor (absolutely unrelatable to college life) and letting yourself go with the flow. 

5. Olivia Rodrigo - “so american”

“He laughs at all my jokes and he says I’m so American” - I’m actually Vietnamese, but I still want to scream every time this part comes on. Olivia Rodrigo’s first rosy love song, “so american” sees a young girl hopefully — not hopelessly, as listeners of the American singer are used to — in love. The song sounds like rushing heartbeats and uncontainable excitement, a summer love that you feel will last. 

6. Taylor Swift - “Message in a Bottle”

I know, I didn’t choose “Cruel Summer,” that would have been too obvious. Summer is also about long-distance relationships, when college lovebirds go back to their separate hometowns for three months. The pop song from the currently biggest American act will sweep you off your feet with a thrilling sensation of yearning for your faraway love. Plus, “how is it in London?” is a great song for a summer U.K. trip! 

7. 5 Seconds of Summer - “Wildflower”

The production of my favorite pop rock band never disappoints, making “Wildflower” the perfect addition to your road trip playlist. The tune starts with isolated vocals, then guitar beats fill in the first verse and the groove builds up to an electrifying chorus. As the band sings “You know you are my favorite fantasy,” the love song will add color to your summer romance, and even if you don’t have one, it is still amazing for a hot girl beach day! 

8. The 1975 - “About You”

No introduction needed — the arguably most famous hit from the English pop rock band will bring you back to the lost summer spent with a special someone. Although Carly Holt’s verse catches the most attention (and rightfully so), the slow melody with minimal instruments perfectly leads up to her mesmerizing vocals. This song feels like coming waves to footsteps on the sand and to your heart, opening up an endless summer night. 

Thank you for reading my clumsy song reviews and, since it is the last issue of The DePauw this academic year, for letting me serve as your Features Editor! I hope you crush your finals and find within yourself the energy to live every day like it is a sunny summer day!