Writers’ Beat: Best Songs for a Drive

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Whether it's a road trip along the coast, your morning commute, or simply a quick run to the supermarket down the street, it's essential to have a playlist stacked with headbanging hits and anthems to belt out for the journey ahead. Here's what our writing staff has to say about their favorite songs for a drive:

Check out last month's Writers' Beat, where our writing staff tackled their favorite concerts!

"Cycles of Existential Rhyme" by Chicano Batman 

We all have our favorite drive-It's when you are deep in thought, letting the wind hit your face and really feeling it. "Cycles of Existential Rhyme," with its blend of tropical and psychedelic style, is an incredible amalgam of genre. Chicano Batman crafts a laid-back, easy-to-listen-to track, which radiates a feel-good spirit. Simply put, it's the perfect soundtrack for a scenic, off-the-beaten-path ride. Let the instrumental guitar solo transport you as you go from point A to B. Sunnies on, windows down. -Sam Goodman

"This One's For Elise" by Saint Motel

This is definitely a roll your windows down, volume up song. With a catchy beat and awesome lyrics, it has always made me excited about where I'm going, whether it's down the street or 3 hours up the California Coast. -Sophie Cloonan

"Here Comes Your Man" by the Pixies

If there's any song that I love singing along to while I drive around, it's "Here Comes Your Man," one of the greatest songs ever to come out of the Boston-based rock band the Pixies. With a catchy, upbeat baseline and easy lyrics, this song makes a long drive seem shorter, and a short drive not long enough. Be careful, though, you might be caught dancing in the driver's seat at a stoplight. -Ro Batcheller

"Sleep On The Floor" by The Lumineers

Whenever I listen to this song it makes me want to drop everything and go on a road trip. This song caters to this desire to get out of routine life as Wesley Schultz, the lead vocalist, sings, "'cause if we don't leave this town, we might never make it out." The simple guitar and harmonies create a peaceful yet inspirational feeling to finally do the things that you were waiting for the right time to do. The sense of freedom and power emitted by this song, coupled with an open highway, guarantees a moment of release, bliss, and motivation to actively pursue everything you've dreamt of. -Megan Doherty

"Expectation" by Tame Impala

For me, going on a drive should be relaxing--but not so relaxing as to make me feel drowsy. To avoid feeling sleepy, I look for chill songs that incorporate a bit of "oomph" here and there, so I feel like Tame Impala's "Expectation" is a perfect fit. The mix of intensifying sounds with subtler sounds is perfect for me to feel relaxed and, more importantly, awake. Also, Tame Impala's lyrics add a bit of mellowness and intensity to certain parts of the sound and rhythm. -Kiersten Tate

"Me and Michael" by MGMT

The summer of 2018 sits really well in my memory, and I have to owe at least half of it to MGMT. Their album Little Dark Age was, and still is, my rock; I sincerely believe it's a no-skip album. I spent a lot of time driving that summer, and my mom's old Honda CR-V that didn't comply with today's newfangled technology (ie: an aux port) inspired me to go out and pick up CDs from the library, one of which being Little Dark Age. My most-played song was "Me and Michael," and now whenever I play it, I think of winding streets and sunsets and a car full of friends. -Eva Fuller

"Tiny Dancer" by Elton John

My favorite song to listen to while driving down the highway has to be "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John. It is the ideal driving song-it's long, loud, and everyone knows the lyrics. Elton is never a bad choice, and this song truly thrives when it's being sung obnoxiously loud with your friends. -Minah Thomas

"Pristine" by Snail Mail

One of my favorite songs to listen to while driving has to be "Pristine" by Snail Mail. It's the perfect blend of heartbreak and anger, while the drums and guitar pump me up. I love using my steering wheel as a drum set during the last thirty seconds of the song as the production and instruments get louder and more intense. There are few better moments than when I get the chance to sing and scream along with Snail Mail while zooming down the empty backroads in my town. -Tiffany Carbon

"Shark Smile" by Big Thief

This song on its own feels like a great road trip, with Adrienne Lenker's lyrics about riding along in a yellow van, breaking the speed limit and escaping the life she left behind miles away. But, when I'm in the car, the lyrics come into even sharper focus, and it feels like I could drive off into the credits of my very own movie. -Kenneth Cox


Writers' Beat is a monthly column on the WERS Blog, in which our writing staff gives their picks of favorite songs and music moments. Tune in next month for when our writers discuss the songs they're thankful for!

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