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60’s Pop Meets Folk Music to Create Your Perfect Summertime Soundtrack

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mt Holyoke chapter.

Early last summer, I stumbled upon the music of Trixie Mattel. Trixie is a well-known drag queen with a 60’s-mod-meets-western Barbie aesthetic who has appeared on two seasons of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, winning the franchise’s third All Stars season. In addition to her music career, she also has a web series and a podcast with fellow drag queen Katya, her own cosmetics brand, an active YouTube channel, and her own documentary. Before I knew her for any of these other projects, I became obsessed with her music. Trixie has a unique sound that combines retro pop with folk music. As I mentioned before, I discovered Trixie’s discography in that perfectly warm and sunny spring-to-summer transition period, and I continued to listen to her music on repeat for most of the summer. In case you want to do the same, here are some suggestions of which songs to listen to during various summertime activities.


Going for a drive along the coast:

Since Trixie’s most recent album, Barbara, is more influenced by bubblegum pop and retro vibes than her previous country twang, it’s perfect for drives with the windows down and the radio blasting! Even if you don’t have access to the coast, you’ll still feel like you’re driving to the beach. Trixie also did a great cover of “Blister In The Sun” by Violent Femmes that fits the same upbeat, 60’s aesthetic as Barbara. The last song of this little set is actually from her first album, but it has high energy and opens with a funky electric guitar riff that gives it pop vibes even though it’s definitely more folksy. 




“Girl Next Door”


“Blister In The Sun” 


“Make Up Your Mind”


Sitting on the front porch late at night:

Get ready to feel all the feels with this batch of songs. They’re from various albums and EPs but they’re all perfect for cool, dark nights and a melancholy mood. Throw on a light sweater, look out over the landscape illuminated by the moon, and maybe spot a firefly or two as you sink into the heavy-hearted, mellow sound of these tunes. 


“Hello, Goodbye, Hello”




“I Know You All Over Again”


“Seen My Man (Wisconsin Demo) [Live]”


Taking a walk in the sunshine:

Depending on your pace, these songs have just the right energy to walk to. I personally walk extremely fast on a regular basis, so apologies in advance if it’s difficult to keep up with these tunes! These songs are great to keep your spirits high as you go for a long walk and catch a breath of fresh air. They sound like how the bright sunshine that you’ll be enjoying feels. 


“Yellow Cloud” 


“Mama Don’t Make Me Put on the Dress Again”




“Wind Up Man”


Hopefully some of these songs help you spice up your summer playlists. I’ve included just a small portion of Trixie’s discography, so be sure to check out the rest of her music on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube! All of her music is so emotional, whether it be joyful or heartbreaking, and the unique instrumentation is incredible (have you ever heard an autoharp before?). I would highly recommend giving any of her albums or EPs a listen, as they all pull from different styles of music and different eras in history, so there’s bound to be something you enjoy! Have fun listening to a fun mix of vintage pop and classic bluegrass sounds with catchy lyrics! You can also keep up with Trixie on Instagram and Twitter if you want to know about new music along with her other projects.


If you would like to write for Her Campus Mount Holyoke, or if you have any questions or comments for us, please email hc.mtholyoke@hercampus.com.

Rachel Paradis

Mt Holyoke '22

I am a senior at Mount Holyoke majoring in mathematics and minoring in psychology. I enjoy listening to music and crocheting, as well as Halloween and antique/thrift shops.
Mount Holyoke College is a gender-inclusive, historically women's college in South Hadley, MA.