by Jessica Walters

  Summer has arrived and that can only mean one thing: vacation time! I love hopping in the car with snacks and sodas in hand, venturing to the unknown, and carelessly spending money on regrettable souvenirs. To help me along the way, I have to have some tunes. So here are some of my top picks for a vacation mix.

Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill” is the ideal first track on any vacation mix. Gabriel apparently wrote this song because he had a spiritual experience atop the hill shortly after his departure from Genesis. I have a slightly different feeling when I hear the song. I imagine having just left the house; it is so early that there are barely any cars on the road. I am exhausted from staying up late the night before packing and getting things cleaned up around the house. I’ve got those “I’m so excited but so tired” jitters. The sun has just begun to hit the horizon; I hit play and enter “Solsbury Hill.” It feels like something out of a John Hughes film.

Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham has the perfect vacation single to make any road trip more enjoyable. A vacation just isn’t a vacation without the theme song from 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, Holiday Road.” It’s also featured in Vegas Vacation and European Vacation if you haven’t seen the original. It’s an upbeat and fun song that you are sure to be bopping your head to as you sing along. I have yet to find out why there is a dog barking in the background; it seems a bit odd but oh well, still enjoyable. Hopefully your vacation will be better than that of the Griswolds.

If you saw Quentin Tarantino’s film Death Proof then you are probably familiar with my next favorite vacation mix track. In the movie while the girls are driving to the lake, they’re playing Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, & Tich’s “Hold Tight and totally rockin’ out. Just check out Jordan Ladd’s character in the back seat completely jamming to this song. It has this cool sixties vibe that you would have expected to hear on American Bandstand but also has a very foot tapping and air drumming quality that you are going to love.

If I am riding shotgun in the car, I have to have tunes that will keep me awake. So any music that we play has to be upbeat and something that I can sing along with and Franz Ferdinand’s 2005 release You could Have It So Much Better will totally fit the bill. The one song that will really get me singing and bustin’ some dance moves out in the passenger seat is Do You Want To.” As soon as I hear the line, “You lucky, lucky, you’re so lucky” be prepared for some arm swinging and possible serenading of fellow roadtrippers.

My final must have song for this year’s vacation is from the Swedish DJ duo called Icona Pop. I have to say I absolutely love their single, “I Love It.” This year I have been noticing this song on soundtracks, in commercials, on the radio- I never tire of hearing it. It’s fun, upbeat, pop, techno track that basically deals with one side of a relationship. The “singer” is fed up and is going to do whatever she feels like because “I don’t care. I love it.”