This is a highly accurate representation of what we were listening to in the bus (converted mini school bus, not big touring bus) on our last tour. To be completely honest, I’ve never made a playlist / shared my personal rotation of bands in any sort of public capacity. I used to be very self conscious about what I was listening to and how that compared to music that was considered “cool”. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve stopped caring about that and become more confident in my tastes. I find myself swapping music suggestions with friends all the time, and I love it. With that said, this was a really fun playlist to curate, and it was way easier than I thought it would be. I spent a good amount of time on the flow — I’m pretty sure I nailed it. Hope you enjoy!
– Mike P (of Dowsing)
1) ‘Anxious Type’ – Shit Present
Every time I play this EP while I’m driving, someone asks who it is, and I say, “Shit Present”, and they say, “WHAT?”, and then I repeat myself, and then they try to figure out the meaning of the name. I don’t know the meaning of the name, but this UK band delivers punk jams with good vibes and sad words — perfect for sunny summer drives.
2) ‘Everybody Wants to Love You’ – Japanese Breakfast
This song is so catchy. It’s constantly stuck in my head. It’s also super poppy and (musically) upbeat, which is, again, perfect for long summer drives. Michelle (the person behind Japanese Breakfast) plays in a band called Little Big League, which is how we first found out about this record. So glad we did because the whole thing is great.
3) ‘4: 49’ – Winter Break
This song is another upbeat punk jam with plenty of hooks to get stuck in your head. It’s not a song that we actually listened to in the bus, but we did hear it pretty much every night for nine days on the west coast when Winter Break joined us on tour. These guys are so great, and having them with us was an absolute pleasure. Catch them live if you get a chance.
4) ‘The Best Thing’ – Electric Youth
This song is great for summer night drives. Electric Youth is a group that I’ve been listening to on-and-off since I saw the movie ‘Drive’ in theaters in 2011. ‘A Real Hero’ (a collaboration between them and the band College) was probably my favorite part of the movie, which is saying a lot — it’s an awesome movie. But yeah, this is a great night drive 80’s-synthy-pop jam (also true for the rest of the album).
5) ‘Erica Western Transport’ – Emperor X
I only recently started listening to Emperor X, but it’s been on constant rotation all summer. Not totally sure why or how that came about, but it’s got just the right feels for a relaxed summer drive.
6) ‘Lost Kids Three Lakes’ – Mother Evergreen
This is an album that I listen to during our most scenic drives when I need a total sense of beauty and adventure. Mother Evergreen is the solo project of our very close friend Evan Loritsch (Kittyhawk, Island of Misfit Toys). He worked on this album for several years, mostly in private, and I couldn’t believe how good it was when he finally shared it. It’s his first release, but I expect a lot more in his future.
7) ‘Must Be Nice’ – Diners
Here’s another one that we didn’t actually listen to in the bus, but we heard it every night after Tyler (Diners, solo) joined us for our final stretch of shows back to Chicago. He has a way of writing extremely catchy melodies, and if you get a chance to see him live, you’ll never want to stop listening to his stuff. This song is perfect for side-to-side head bobs on a sunny summer day.
8) ‘Precarious (Supermarket Song)’ – Martha
Martha is definitely my favorite / most listened to band of the summer. This album is incredible. They’re a UK band with a knack for writing lo-fi punk songs with good vibes. It’s exactly what I want to listen to when I’m driving with the windows down and the sun shining through my crappy sunglasses. Great stuff all around.
9) ‘Fascination’ – Hurry
I found out about this band when someone posted a music video for a song from this new album. The video was hilarious, the song was great, I gave it a shot, I won. Side note: every time I put this record on around my girlfriend, she is very quick to tell me that it sounds like Nada Surf. Maybe she keeps saying it to draw attention to how often I’m playing the album, or maybe she wants me to start listening to Nada Surf. Regardless, it’s perfect for chill summer drives.
10) ‘Playing With the Boys (12” Version)’ – Kenny Loggins
This song holds a special place in our hearts. On our last tour (with Kittyhawk), we had a drive where we listened to the whole Top Gun soundtrack front-to-back (usually we just listen to the hits). This song immediately caught our attention as a diamond in the rough, and then it caught our attention again when it played for a second time at the end of the album (there are two versions). It quickly became the tour song — we listened to it at least once every day. Our enthusiasm spilled over to our most recent tour, where we shared the song with our new friends in Winter Break and Diners. I couldn’t tell if they liked it, but I’m sure they did because, well, how could you not? This song is perfect for your next summer beach volleyball game in the 1980’s.