Summer Soundtrack

Last weekend was the unofficial end to summer, with the holiday weekend and the kids returning to school. Fall might not technically start until the Autumnal Equinox for another couple of weeks; summer is - for all practical purposes - over. And I think the universe is taking notice.

Zu returned from her first day of school with a crisp brown leaf in her hand. She held it out to me and said, "The first leaf of fall has fallen and I picked up just for you."

We had a great summer: finalizing the purchase of and moving into our new house, a few fantastic evenings at the beach, and two family road trips. I've been listening to a ton of great music this summer too. With that being said, I'm doubling down on my Five for Friday post. The following 10 songs were the soundtrack to our summer.

Grouplove - Tongue Tied - The oldest track on my list, Tongue Tied is infectious. Leaves me with the feeling of backyard barbecues, hanging out with a house full of friends, and singalongs around a campfire.

Samestate - Hurricane - This song is also about a year old, but we've been hearing it a lot this past summer. It somehow reminds me of both days at the beaches along the Puget Sound and times I spent climbing in the Cascades.

The Head and the Heart - Down in the Valley - This is one of my favorite new bands to come out over the past year or so. Down in the Valley doubles as a great road trip song and a gentle lullaby.

Je’kob - Love Is All - When I first heard this song it was like a 2x4 to the back of the head. A rare timely song that speaks to current events with the upcoming election and state of discord in our society; yet it's catchy, upbeat, and hopeful. I can't help but crank the volume every time this comes on the radio.

NEEDTOBREATHE - Keep Your Eyes Open - This is my summer anthem. Pulsing driving drum beat, hypnotic piano riff, soaring guitars... that and Bear Rinehart's vocals remind me of campfires, dirt roads, creeks and rivers flowing from glacial melt, and alpine meadows.

Lecrae - Church Clothes - The Church Clothes is one of the best rap albums I've heard in a long time and easily the best of 2012. This is summer in the city.

Owl City - Shooting Star - Zu adores Owl City. And I adore that she adore's Owl City. This may be her favorite song in the world right now. Any time she hears this, she just sings loud and unashamed. This is one of those songs that will interrupt conversation in our car as we're driving around so that everyone can sing along. That has happened several times this summer.

Phillip Phillips - Home - This song is unlike any other coronation song in American Idol's history. While most songs released as the winner's first single has a "yay me" message and is vocal heavy, Home has more of an outward perspective and focused on a holistic sound balancing singing and instrumentation. This song is all backwoods, country roads, and open highway.

The Lumineers - Ho Hey - This is another song that reminds me of a bunch of friends sitting around a campfire, passing around an acoustic guitar, and singing songs of love and hope.

Owl City - Good Time - Another entry from Owl City. Another song you'll catch my daughter singing at the top of her lungs. This is pure bubblegum pop music - especially with the presence of Carly Rae Maybe adding her vocals. This might be a guilty pleasure kind of song, but if it doesn't scream summertime fun... What does?

*** Honorable Mention***

Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks - Quite often on repeat this summer... but not quite worthy of my top 10.

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