We know it’s great to blast “Born to Be Wild” or “Highway to Hell” while you’re speeding down SLEX, but if classic rock and hair bands are all you have in your road trip playlist, you are in serious need of some new songs, bro! (You don’t want to show your age now, do you? There are chicks in the car with you!)
Here, we’ve rounded up 10 songs that came out in the past year that would be great additions to your current road trip mix. From awesome songs by indie buzz bands to new tracks by surf pop acts to sunny picks from the local scene, we’ve got you covered. So when someone asks you what that cool tune is, you can just breezily go, “Oh, this is a new one by so-and-so…,” no biggie. YOU WILL BE THE WINNINGEST WINNER IN THAT CAR, WE TELL YOU.
1) “Young Chasers” by Circa Waves
Perfect for: Getting excited as you get in the car and drive off
This giddy garage rock tune from the British buzz band will get you pumped at the start of a long journey. Especially since it’s, like, 6 a.m. and you’re barely even human at this time of the day.
Video via Circa Waves
2) “Bad Habit” by The Kooks
Perfect for: Blasting while you’re stuck in traffic somewhere
If you just gotta have your classic rock, play this track by the British indie rock group to channel that badass throwback vibe. You have our permission to air guitar the hell out of this one. (Unless you’re driving, in which case, DON’T.)
Video via The Kooks
3) “I'm Good” by The Mowgli's
Perfect for: A barkada singalong once you get past the traffic
Yay, you’ve escaped the bitching EDSA tangle and are now speeding down the expressway to a whole weekend of fun! Celebrate with a well-timed barkada singalong as you discuss the relative merits of each restaurant you’re bound to pass along the way.
Video via The Mowgli's
4) “Run for Cover” by Barbie Almalbis
Perfect for: Feeling refreshed after a stopover
Barbie's light-as-air vocals will keep you in high spirits after you’ve had a satisfying meal and a chance to stretch your legs at a rest stop. Plus, chicks love Barbie. You’ll be in with the girls as soon as this track plays.
Video via Barbie Almalbis
5) “Lonely One” by Dresses
Perfect for: When you realize you’ve got nothing to do for the next few hours
This charming indie pop number will keep you feeling fine even as it dawns on you that you’ve got nothing to do for the long stretch except be stuck in a sardine can while slowly losing feeling in your ass.
6) “Sunny Where You Are” by We Are Imaginary
Perfect for: Getting lost in your own thoughts
Everyone has gone silent, each ruminating on his or her own thoughts. As the song goes “Is it sunny where you are?” you wonder about that chick you dated who never replies to your messages anymore. (Our take? She’s not worth it, brah.)
Video via We Are Imaginary
7) “Crystals” by Of Monsters and Men
Perfect for: Feeling a sense of purpose that pushes you onward in your journey
As the dramatic drumbeat gives way to the opening lines, “Lost in skies of powdered gold / Caught in clouds of silver ropes,” shake yourself out of your daze and realize that, hey, this trip could change your life! You could meet someone new, discover the cure for cancer, or maybe none of the above, but just hit the gas, homeboy!
Video via Of Monsters And Men
8) “California Nights” by Best Coast
Perfect for: Taking in the majesty of the scenery around you
Even if it’s just an endless expanse of green dotted by the occasional malnourished cow, all that shit’s still mad beautiful to look at. Slip on this slow song by the surf rock act and soak it all in.
Video via Best Coast
9) “I Can't Pretend” by The Drums
Perfect for: When you’re starting to get sleepy
While it’s slower and darker than what we’re used to hearing from this surf pop outfit, this track still drips with delicious warmth that’s great for a scorching summer. If you feel your eyelids getting heavy, go ahead—lean back and rest a while. (But not you, designated driver. Sorry.)
Video via The Drums
10) “Rollin' On” by Royal Tongues
Perfect for: When you’re aaaalmooooost there
Wake up and wipe the slobber off your face, because the trip’s almost over!
This uplifting song is perfect for that great moment when you can already taste the saltwater on your tongue. Sing it: “I CAN FEEL IT, I CAN FEEL IT, GETTING BETTER, GETTING BETTER!”
Video via Royal Tongues
Start saving up, Jinjas!
It’s hard to imagine the rapper distance himself from the relevant issues affecting society
Because a well-groomed head of hair is often the best way to hold a look together
The unique police procedural isn't afraid to dive into the cavernous recesses of the human mind