Look, some parts of summer are just sacred – even more sacred than Fourth of July barbeques, beach sunsets, homemade sangria, and pool parties. We’re talking the perfect mix of sunny Americana, Hollywood-ending, young-wild-and-free mythos that is arguably the crown jewel in every summer calendar: the road trip.
If you’re like me, you also know that only one thing surpasses the summer road trip in importance, and that’s the summer road trip playlist. It’s true. He With The Aux Cord holds a kind of power on par with the Infinity Gauntlet, and is responsible for making or breaking the trip. We’ve all seen coming-of-age movies, so we know the golden standard of every road trip playlist is to achieve the “driving into the sunset while the credits roll” mood – for hours on end.
But the hard part is determining what kind of cinematic vibe your personal edition of Carpool Karaoke should aim for. Is this trip a classic squad movie, and you need some feel-good “Don’t You Forget About Me?” Maybe it has a darker vibe, and we need some melancholy Beck while everyone looks out the window at the passing landscape. Or a little 8 Mile (anything goes), and it’s a “Lose Yourself,” rebel vibe. The point is, the opportunities – and genres – are endless. That’s why we’ve rounded up seven of the best road trip songs for this summer. Choose a mood, pick your lead song, and get to curating – this trip depends on you.
Who: Kellz & The Truth Experiment
When: Heading to the beach, doors off the Jeep
Who: Calvin Harris, Rag’n’Bone Man
When: Your big adventure scene. Rock climbing, surfing – anything you can capture with a GoPro.
3. Somebody to Love (Acoustic)
Who: Abhi the Nomad
When: Roadside beach bonfire
4. Bad Guy
Who: Billie Eilish
When: You’re feeling a little badass. Quintessential Gen Z tomboy pop for the highway.
5. Purple Emoji
Who: Ty Dolla $ign ft. J Cole
When: You had to wake up and get on the road early. Smooth pop R&B to enjoy with a cup of coffee.
When: Golden hour, with a view. Both trippy and lovely.
7. Just got Paid
Who: Sigala, Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor, French Montana
When: Friday night. Big Girls Night Out vibes, and the best way to end your trip with a bang.