A road trip playlist for a summer of better days

Coming off of a tough year, this playlist celebrates the good that’s yet to come

A road trip playlist for a summer of better days

With graduation speeding around the corner, you may be avidly waiting to take to the road. However, with travel still being limited due to coronavirus restrictions, it may be more difficult than usual to revel in that post-graduation escape. To provide you with some semblance of adventure, The Eagle has crafted a Spotify playlist full of music to inspire you to look towards the horizon. Here are some of the songs included in the playlist:

“Take It Easy” - Eagles

This classic from the Eagles’ 1972 self-titled debut album features a soothing ‘70s folk vibe, as well as reflective lyrics, urging you to slow down and take a look at what you’ve already accomplished. The road represents the perfect metaphor for life’s journey, when “the sound of your own wheels” can “drive you crazy,” as the song suggests. This song is ideal for those who feel themselves hitting roadblocks in their aspirations or having some trouble navigating their love life.

“Highway 10” - Mereba

From her debut album, “The Jungle Is The Only Way Out,” “Highway 10” is one of Mereba’s greatest songs to take to the road. With a steady beat and the repetitive promise of “leaving you in the rear view mirror,” this tune is a first-rate choice for anyone looking to move forward from a somewhat disappointing senior year into a more promising post-graduate, hopefully newly-vaccinated life. 

“Come Sail Away” - Styx

Featuring the recognizable and energetic vocals of Dennis DeYoung, this track starts off as a ballad and then shifts into rock, with Styx’s trademark synthesizer sound. DeYoung sings of leaving home to learn and grow, to face life with a breadth of experiences: “I'm sailing away / Set an open course for the Virgin Sea / 'Cause I've got to be free / Free to face the life that's ahead of me / On board I'm the captain, so climb aboard / We'll search for tomorrow on every shore / And I'll try, oh Lord, I'll try to carry on.” For those who need to be reminded that they man the helm of their own journey, this whimsical and upbeat jam is a great one to blast in the car.

“At Last” - The Dø

A bit more subdued, this low-key tune from The Dø is great at reflecting the relief and bliss that comes with finishing a long journey. The lyrics are not necessarily joyful, but the melody is catchy, and the sentiment of something arriving “at last” is rather universal. Carrying an air of joy mixed with a twinge of facing the unknown, this is a perfect song for anyone tentative about what the future holds.

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” - Simple Minds

Popularized by “The Breakfast Club” (1985) and “Pitch Perfect” (2012), this song has retained its youthful appeal across generations. The lyrics explore themes of feelings of inadequacy, “Will you stand above me? / Look my way, never love me;” the need for communal support, “As you walk on by / Will you call my name?;” and troubles with love, “Love's strange, so real in the dark / Think of the tender things that we were working on;” all universal young adult experiences. In this very isolating time, this classic echoes the need for recognition and the desire for creating a legacy.

“Change (Taylor’s Version)” - Taylor Swift

From her most recent re-release, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” Taylor Swift’s version of her song “Change” celebrates the victory of moving forward in one’s life. A triumphant ballad, this song is perfect for reveling in the achievement that is graduation. In this tune, Swift reminds us, “These things will change / Can you feel it now? / These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down.” Upbeat and bold, this is a great listen for those feeling optimistic about the future. 

“Blister in the Sun” - Violent Femmes

From its eponymous 1993 album, the Violent Femmes encapsulates young adult angst in this quirky track. With an iconic guitar riff and sharp-toned vocalist, the song covers themes of mental strife and romantic strain proclaiming, “Let me go on / Like I blister in the sun.” This jam is for those who are counting down the days until school responsibilities are over and they can let loose.

“Scott Street” - Phoebe Bridgers

Of course, a Phoebe Bridgers song had to be included in the playlist following her acclaimed performance at American University. One of her more well-known songs off her debut album, “Stranger in the Alps,” “Scott Street” is a beautiful homage to the strangeness and sadness of moving on — a feeling known well to those graduating college. A common fear for those stepping away from their past is the potential to lose connection with those they’ve met: the song addresses this, concluding with the repetition of the plea, “Anyway, don’t be a stranger.” 

We hope you find some solace with this collection of songs and maybe even use the playlist on a road trip!

okozlevcar@theeagleonline.com, smaxwell@theeagleonline.com 

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