There is no better feeling than catching the gorgeous radiant sunlight streaming across your face, and then looking up at the beautiful blue sky. The lyric, ‘Spring is here… [The] Sky is blue’, as sung by The Dixie Cups in the classic ‘Going to the Chapel’, is easy to resonate with for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. With Summer just around the corner, it is the perfect time to soak in the sun’s warmth, refresh your body and mind, and listen to ‘sunny day music’ (as I like to call it!): music with rhythms, beats, and instrumentation that somehow seem to match the gorgeous skies and beauteous weather to absolute perfection…
Here I am presenting an eclectic mix of songs, and I have highlighted some tracks by artists of whom you may not have heard before, as well as some personal favourites. So, enjoy and savour them to your heart’s content under the sun!
Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words) (Julie London) – there are, of course, several renditions of this song, but there is simply something so delicious about Julie London’s version. The build-up of instruments in the intro, from the violins to the jaunty piano that lead to London’s sultry voice work perfectly together. We are carried through a song that possesses such a dreamy quality, emphasised by lyrics like ‘Let me see what Spring is like on Jupiter and Mars’. Simply an absolute delight!
The Girl from Ipanema (Amy Winehouse) – from her posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures, this Bossa nova classic, which typically suits the ambiance of elegant evenings, has been completely transformed by Winehouse, who opted for more neo-soul beats. The instruments alongside her vocals play with each other, allowing you to travel to Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Cupid (Sam Cooke) – Cooke’s crystal clear voice has the ability to send you to the heavens! I also recommend Amy Winehouse’s more reggae style version of the song too. Summer Wind (Michael Bublé) Am I the Same Girl (Dusty Springfield)
50ft (Lauren Jauregui) Everytime I hear this song (I can never tell if it’s the lyrics, the beat or a combination of the two), I feel mentally refreshed as Jauregui reminds me to ‘Push the negative to the side/So it’s not in front of my eyes’. I have actually found the way in which the world is opening up again to be slightly overwhelming, so I really appreciate how this song is one that I can relish but also prompts me to look after myself.
Manga (Mayra Andrade) I have only just recently discovered Cape Verdean music, and I am now in love with the different sounds that such a small island has created. Mayra Andrade is a contemporary artist who sings this song in Cape Verdean Creole, which has such cheerful, chilled and sensual qualities to it.
Vamos fugir (Gilberto Gil)
Culpa al Corazón (Prince Royce)
Lovely Day (Bill Withers)
Mrs Robinson (Simon and Garfunkel)
There’s A Kind Of Hush (Carpenters) Upbeat bops
I’m Still in Love with You (Sean Paul feat. Sasha) The legend himself, Sean Paul, has sampled Aton Ellis’s original reggae song of the same name, but manipulated the song to create a dialogue between his voice and Sasha’s, so the song has a far more dynamic quality to it, in comparison to the original. Hearing one line of Sean Paul’s voice gets me pumped and this song never fails to make my body move.
Breakfast in Bed (MALIYA feat. Ryohu) My friend sent me this song on a sunny day, so I always associate it with her and glorious weather, as the song itself has such an uplifting quality to it. I do not know if it is because I am partly Japanese, but personally, I find that there is something that is fun and comforting about music in Japanese. I also recommend the band THREE1989 who have music with similar sounds.
Cosmic Girl (Jamiroquai)
Bidi Bidi Bom Bom (Selena)
Je Veux (Zaz)
I Like It Like That (Pete Rodriguez)
Essa Mina é Louca (Anitta feat. Jhama)
Dolor de Cabeza (RIKI, CNCO)