With Memorial Day weekend firmly behind us, there’s no way to deny that we’re into the summer season. And what does that mean? Summer playlists (if you answered barbecues or pool parties or anything else, you were wrong). The Internet is chock-full of playlists for every warm weather occasion, from cook-outs to summer romances to wacky adventures surrounding disruptions of the space-time continuum. Actually, a quick Google search has revealed to me that there aren’t a lot of playlists in that last category, so I’ve constructed my own summer playlist that I think will be perfect the next time you decide to spend your summer break time-traveling.
Track 1: Diane Young by Vampire Weekend
Play this when: You’re cavorting through a local meadow without a care in the world. The frenetic energy of this song and its rockabilly “baby, baby” repetition lend themselves to the type of heedless head-bobbing and crip walking that will eventually lead you to fall down a hill in the newly hollowed out construction pit at the edge of the meadow. This song should come to its crescendo right as you’re careening down the side of the dirt hill, wondering when this area started getting developed and why there weren’t more warning scenes. The title’s pun on “dying young” should resonate with some irony as you tumble towards a large, ominous metal container at the base of the pit.
Track 2: Come and Get It by Selena Gomez
Play this when: You come to after hitting your head on the blunt metal object at the base of the construction pit. Maybe it’s just because of the concussion talking, but you’ll probably be feeling like listening to some of the latest bubblegum pop. Selena Gomez’s latest hit should do nicely as you stare in awe at the large metal container in front of you, wondering if the sun glinting off the steel case is actually the container’s way of winking at you. The seize-the-moment mentality of this song will likely encourage you to further investigate the case, and discover that there is a door handle on the outside as well as a control panel and a comfy-looking pilot chair on the inside. At this point you should climb inside and recoup from your injuries for a few minutes. Selena would want that.
Track 3: Safe and Sound by Capital Cities
Play this when: You’re plummeting into the past in what turned out to be a functioning time machine. Traveling through time might be a little chaotic and overwhelming, if the opening credits of Doctor Who are any indication, so this upbeat track with its comforting message will be perfect as you try to come to grips with the fact that you’re violating several laws of physics.
Track 4: Where the Kids Are by Blondifre
Play this when: Your time machine crash lands in 1978 in the middle of the Under the Sea-themed dance at… wait a minute, isn’t this your parents’ high school? Don’t they have a cheesy picture on the mantel from this exact school dance?! Once again, you may be tempted to panic and question the ramifications of running into your teenage parents, but this ethereal track by Blondfire will remind you to stay cool because after all, weren’t we all kids once, running in the wilderness of life? Just go with the flow and enjoy scouting out some truly awful ’70s fashion choices.
Track 5: Get Lucky by Daft Punk
Play this when: The hulking school bully begins dancing with your mom, preventing her from meeting your dad and thereby jeopardizing your very existence. You’ve got to put a stop to this with a song so powerful, it will serve as the deux ex machina and resolve the whole conflict. And I think we all know that there’s only one summer song that powerful: Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. You probably won’t have access to an iPod dock and speakers in 1978, so you’ll have to hop up on stage and help the live band recreate this song. As soon as that bass line lands, your dad will be compelled to pull out his best Saturday Night Fever dance, causing your mom to notice him and instantly decide that they will someday get married and have a child. Problem solved. Thanks, Daft Punk!
Bonus track: Suit and Tie by Justin Timberlake
Play this when: You’ve returned to the present and shakily climbed out of the time machine, wondering if this crazy adventure actually happened or if you just suffered worse head trauma than you thought. But put this track on and let JT remind you that it doesn’t matter as long as you’ve got your suit and tie. (You won’t have your suit and tie because you’re still in a construction pit, but don’t worry about that now. Just walk it out.)