Georgia summer jams

The perfect local playlist for backyard parties, riverside picnics, and whatever else you’re up to

“Our Streets” by Stokeswood
If glitter made a noise, it’d sound a lot like Atlanta’s Stokeswood and their irresistible blend of pop and dance music. Their new single and accompanying crowd-funded video embody the excitement of the five-piece band’s live performances.

“Hey Ya!” by Outkast
A better summer anthem has never been written (“Shake it like a Polaroid picture!”), and with André and Big Boi’s recent reunion, there was no way we could leave the original ATLiens off the list.

“Dance Apocalyptic” by Janelle Monáe
If there’s anyone who doesn’t love the soulful sound of Janelle Monáe—who was gleefully adopted by Atlanta in 2001—we have not met them. And if there’s anyone who can listen to this song without dancing,

“Day for the Dead” by Zac Brown Band
The appeal of the chart-topping Zac Brown Band extends beyond typical country music fans. Their latest EP, featuring this single, was produced by Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana), who said, “I swear to God, if I weren’t in my band, I would be in this band.”

“Every Stone” by Manchester Orchestra
Manchester Orchestra gutted an Atlanta house, built their own studio, and set out to create a “crazy-loud rock record.” The first single from their long-awaited Cope album manages to be crazy loud and brightly summery at the same time.

“Can’t Wait for Summer” by Yacht Rock Revue
Best known for spot-on covers of seventies light rock classics and dad jams, massively popular party band/comedic geniuses/musicians Yacht Rock Revue have created the ultimate summer song to accompany piña coladas by the pool.

 “Coastline” by B.o.B
Twenty-five-year-old Decaturite B.o.B (aka Bobby Ray) has been on a major label since the age of seventeen but considers “Coastline”—an epic anthem of struggle, determination, and hope—to be his most cerebral track yet.

“All I Know” by Washed Out
Perry native/Athens resident Ernest Greene, better known as Washed Out, was propelled into the national spotlight with the dreamy theme song for Portlandia. The chillwave pioneer’s more recent “All I Know” is the sonic equivalent of a picnic in a meadow of flowers. (Atlanta band Mood Rings deliver similar chillwave goodness. If you like this, try their song “The Line.”)

 “The Beat Comes” by Snowden
Fans of Atlanta’s Snowden waited seven years for lead singer/songwriter Jordan Jeffares’s sophomore album. The lush follow-up includes both ethereal moments of melancholy and soaring spots of elation; “The Beat Comes” sits solidly in the latter category.

 “Just Do You” by India.Arie
Motown Records artist and four-time Grammy winner India.Arie’s latest album, SongVersation, features this uplifting ode that’s the ideal soundtrack to jogging through Piedmont Park or driving with the top down.

This article originally appeared in our June 2014 issue.