Warm-Weather Tunes: Music to Turn Your Heater On

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


mojo-photo-tropicalsunset.jpgOkay, call me a wimp, but lately temperatures in San Francisco have struggled to get above 45 degrees, and even for a guy who grew up suffering through Nebraska winters, it feels pretty damn cold. Maybe it’s the poorly-insulated apartment heated with a space heater? Anyway, with wind chills currently freezing the tootsies off of most of America, it seems like we could use some music that reminds us of sunnier times. So put on your shades and join me in some creative visualization in pursuit of warmth.

Of course, music made in countries where wind chill isn’t really an issue (and tracks that have the word “sun” in the title) might be a good first step. Jamaica’s always pretty nice (when it isn’t getting battered by hurricanes), and while anything by Bob Marley would qualify here, the slightly-less-well known “Sun is Shining” brightens up even the most gray day, both in its original and bouncy Funkstar Deluxe remix versions:

Then there are tunes that take you back to high school summer break memories, driving in your crappy car with the windows open and the stereo all the way up, a Big Gulp wedged between the seats (this was before cup holders!) and a worn-out cassette providing a soundtrack to the green vistas. Two summer hits with a sweaty energy that immediately get your blood pumping: Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” and Veruca Salt’s “Seether.”

I guess Los Angeles sometimes qualifies as a hot-weather location too, and I don’t think there’s any warmer West Coast hip-hop tracks than “California Love” and “Gin and Juice.” The former’s funky Frampton vocal and the latter’s laid-back beat immediately bring to mind humid, sultry nights.

A post on summery music wouldn’t be complete without some cheesy dance pop, and for that, the first place to turn is the island of Ibiza, where the non-stop hedonistic summer club scene often spawns worldwide hits in the fall as worn-out ravers head back to their jobs. First, Energy 52’s epic 1997 hit “Café del Mar” is actually named after an Ibiza hotspot, although its terrible video features people wearing heavy coats; Modjo’s “Lady (Hear Me Tonight)” is a carefree neo-disco number whose video (featuring teenage summer hijinks) actually fits with our theme.

Okay, commenters, go crazy: music that reminds you of a time when you didn’t need to bundle up just to go get your morning coffee? Tunes that once rocked your summer barbecues? Or tracks that just say “summer” in the title? Let’s have ’em.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest