Jeremy Piehler Photography

Get that bonfire a roasting and make a s’mores toast to the last month of summer! For most of us, it’s getting to that time to get crackin’ on textbook buying and school supply shopping. But fear not! There’s still some time for long sunny days and bonfire beach nights. And what a better way to get it started than with this playlist?!

Before all of their indie rock fame and glory, Wes Miles of Ra Ra Riot and Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend formed a duo known as Discovery. What came out of it (and what comes out of the first track, Swing Tree) is a mesh of crazily warped and autotuned R&B filtered through synth pop and electronic dance music (EDM). This tune will be sure to keep you buzzing and winding up your summer nights!

Carousel (otherwise known as the one-man band featuring nothing but Kevin Friedman) cools down the warped R&B  and turns up the vocal pop with his track, Let’s Go Home. While it may leave you longing for the nostalgic times of child-and-teen-hood, Santigold’s Shove It will pull you harshly into the real world: We think you’re a joke/Shove your hope where it don’t shine. Her reggae fusions will have the crowd head bopping until the next cool down track.

Captivating and cool, The xx keeps it true to their soulful selves in the song Islands. With their ever-so-ethereal quality, the xx’s knack for what is called dream pop – a subgenre of pop rock and alternative rock – is always without fail. For a summer love, you cannot go wrong with this song. And not to mention, those sparks flying out of the bonfire are an added touch!

In what I believe to be the perfect summer (love) anthem of this playlist, Empire of the Sun’s We Are the People knocks it right out of the park. A mellow electronic tune backgrounds the Australian duo’s vocals: We lived an adventure/Love in the summer; Lie in the sand and visualize like its 75 again.

Lie in the sand indeed with these last two songs that give off a very distinct 1950s and 60s Frankie Avalon beach movie vibe (see here). Of course, with a little 21st century, they instantly become more appealing to musically-inclined audiences. Whether in the good wholesome summer love-esque lyrics or the hum of the keyboards and background vocals, Marathon and When They Fight, They Fight will leave you feeling hearty with as much warmth as the bonfire itself.

This playlist and accompanying piece was created by Alicia Hai, Music Blogger at Rhetoric Magazine. Come back for more every Friday!