Top 10 Best Songs to Set the Mood

Let’s be real — sometimes it takes more than candles, rose pedals, and whatever else you’re in to (no judgment here) to set the mood.  You can play the stereotypical Marvin Gaye or Miguel, but where’s the fun in that?  Besides, “the mood” is different each time — for example, a song to set the tone for when one of you is going through a difficult time (so, like, grief babymaking) will most likely not set the proper “mood” for when you’re both coming home from a great night, slightly buzzed, and majorly frisky (I mean, unless that’s your thing).  “The mood” varies, and so should each babymaking song.  Here’s a playlist with a mix of indie, hip-hop, electronic, and a whole lot of ~sensual~ music accompanied by rom-com worthy situations for each song:

Parks-and-Rec101. Good For You by Selena Gomez, A$AP Rocky.  “Let me show you how proud I am to be yours/ Leave this dress a mess on the floor”  You’ve been dating your significant other for a little while now, and it’s really good, but you’re so paranoid of it becoming stale.  You’re unconsciously desperate and almost obsessed with pleasing your partner.  You constantly think of ways to surprise him/her and prove that you’re worth it.  (Side note: You’re worth it.  Don’t ever prove yourself to anyone.)

2. All The Time by Bahamas.  “I’ve got all the time in the world don’t you want some of that”  Two words: Afternoon delight.  You wanted the both of you to play hooky from work to, ummm, “spend time” with each other, but you have that 10:30am conference call that you cannot miss.  So you both go to work, but both rush home to “eat lunch.” 😉 😉 😉  You both go back to work slightly frazzled, a little messy, but with a bigger smile and a bit more energy.  Hey, lunch must’ve been really delicious today!

3. One Time by Marian Hill.  “You like the hit and run/ You say it’s all for fun”  This song is straight-up sensuality and swagger.  You meet someone at the bar (who’s not creepy or douchey or ditzy – idk it might be the tequila talking), and you’re surprised at how decent the conversation is.  You initiate conversation because you apologize for your drunk friend bumping into everyone in a 10-foot vicinity, and he/she flashes you a 1000-mega-watt smile (idk again, everything’s kind of blurry).  You talk a little about your music tastes, your careers, and your mutual dislike for Donald Trump, and wow, you’ve never met anyone this refreshingly normal at a bar before.  It goes without saying that you mutually agree that tonight, despite what Marian Hill is crooning about, you will have a one-night stand (and promise to pretend to still be sleeping when the other is tip-toeing out of the apartment the next morning).

4. Powerful by Major Lazer, Ellie Goulding, Tarrus Riley.  “There’s an energy/ When you hold me/ When you touch me/ It’s so powerful”  You’re at your friend’s overly packed holiday party, and as you’re trying to make your way back to the bar to fill up your glass, you bump into your old ex (the one that you really and wholeheartedly loved even when you broke up and cried for weeks and watched PS I Love You over and over again).  You’re both kind of startled, but in a crowded room full of people, it’s just you two.  And, honestly, it feels comforting to see such a familiar face.  He/she asks if you want to get some air, get a drink elsewhere, or really anything to be alone together.  (Side note: This has probably already happened in roughly 85-120 romantic comedy movies probably starring either Kate Hudson or Katherine Heigl.)

5. Talk is Cheap by Chet Faker.  “I wanna make you move with confidence/ I wanna be with you alone”  You’re both coming back from a great dinner filled with plenty of laughter and happiness.  As you walk home arm-in-arm, you realize how much you admire him/her — literally everything about the person, even the annoying way he/she puts the carton back in the fridge even though there’s about a millimeter of juice left.  When you both finally arrive home and are unwinding, but still basking in the greatness of the night, you both mutually want to show each other just how much you really feel for one another.  (Side note: This song is meant for your FOR REAL, ride-or-die, legitimate lover/soulmate/best friend/person.  Chet Faker should not be taken lightly.)

6. Two Weeks by FKA Twigs.  “My thighs are apart for when you’re ready to breathe in”  You’ve been dating your significant other for a while because, let’s be real, things can get real freaky when FKA Twigs comes on.  No need to go into detail with this one *insert awkward/nervous emoji here*.

7. Black Mambo by Glass Animals.  “Slow down/ It’s a science/ He’s been waiting/ To bring you down”  You’re at an informal, mini-reunion with all of your old college pals, and you’re having a genuinely good time catching up with everyone and feeling like absolutely nothing’s changed.  One minute you’re chugging beer with your one friend you always thought was attractive but never had the guts to cross that line, and the next minute you’re asking that friend: “What if we actually did hook up back then?”  More than a few minutes after that (or at least I’d hope so), your “What if?” becomes a “What now?”

8. Slip by Elliot Moss.  “Whoa, whoa, whoa”  You’ve been dating this person for a little while now, but the relationship (if you can even officially call it that yet) is still brand spankin’ new.  Everything’s a little awkward at first, and you’re both cautious and a little timid, but there’s also a sense of urgency.  You fumble, you stumble, you mumble.  Everything’s tame, but you both know how pivotal this moment is.

9. Four Walls by Broods.  “I wanna make you feel how I feel when I’m listening to love songs/ I wanna take you to the peak of everything that you are”  Everything’s perfect, and you both love each other a ridiculous amount.  But then your company transfers you to a branch in a different country, and you’re stoked because this is your dream and exactly what you’ve been wanting to do — the ultimate next step in your career and your life.  And then you remember your significant other.  You both talk about it over and over again, and you both realize it wasn’t meant to be at this time.  You ache because you know that in another life, in other circumstances, you would 100% be together, but not right now.  You spend your last night in your home country in the place you know best.

10. Often by The Weeknd.  “I usually love sleeping all alone/ This time around bring your friend with you/ But we ain’t really going to sleep at all”  You swore you would stop hitting up your friend-with-benefits/routine booty call, but it’s Saturday night and you’re bored.  So your FWB comes over to innocently watch the game with you and drink a couple of beers.  But then you’re both staring at the game timer as it slowly ticks down second-by-second, and oops wow, you didn’t even realize you were holding your breath with your fists tightly clenched.  It goes to commercial, and in a nanosecond you look over at each other, make knowing eye contact, and then — touchdown, goal, score, home run (who even knows what sport you two were “watching”).

**BONUS**

magic mike

11. Pony by Ginuwine.  “My saddle’s waiting/ Come and jump on it”  When you feel like getting your Magic Mike on.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

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Top 10 Best Songs for a Pregame

I’ve always understood the importance of a *fire* pregame playlist.  The songs queued up set the tone for the night and are supposed to pump you up for impending shenanigans.  You sure as hell don’t want to hear Bon Iver when you’re 4 shots deeps (I mean, unless it’s that kind of night).  Sure, you can easily play an hour-long DJ set from Ultra or Coachella (like this one), but I’ve recently found that having a playlist of a healthy mix of hip-hop, indie pop, and electronic music will better cater to all of your buddies’ listening preferences.  Having just celebrated survived my 21st birthday this past weekend, I’d say I have a pretty good understanding of the pregame playlist:

bridesmaids

1. 679 by Fetty Wap, Remy Boyz.  Fetty is taking full advantage of the spotlight that “Trap Queen” put on him.  Fetty’s rolling deep with the Remy Boyz in this bass-heavy track that’s perfect for when you’re equally as squad deep.

2. Last All Night (Koala) by Oliver Heldens, KStewart.  I love me some Oliver Heldens.  In this song it’s more about the bouncy beat and less about the average female vocals.  That catchy beat can make anyone dance – even your one friend who really just shouldn’t.

3. Bitch Better Have My Money by Rihanna.  Rihanna’s a straight-up trap (music) queen on this one.  Her badass attitude and sneer as she spits out lyrics make you kinda lose it and sing/scream along (even if no one actually owes you money).

4. 7/11 by Beyoncé.  “Smack it, smack it in the air.”  Warning: The beat on this track/the alcohol you’re chugging makes you think you can dance like Queen Bey — you can’t, but it’s cool.

5. Slowly by Dropout.  I’m a HUGE fan of this track (but not its marketing tactics).  I love how the pitch shift and slight dub step tones make for a fun, carefree song.

6. My Type by Saint Motel.  With a jazzy, disco-y opening that’s heavy on horns, guitar, and bottle clinks, you already know you’re in for a good time with this track.  You can’t really help but dance like an idiot (I dance purely with my shoulders for this song).

bridesmaids 2

7. I Don’t Like It, I Love It by Flo Rida, Robin Thicke, Verdin White.  Just a breezy song that makes you want to dance whether you like it or not.  Although Robin Thicke has landed on my shit list and Flo Rida doesn’t make it on my list of favorite artists, I still dig this song.

8. You’re On by Madeon, Kyan.  This is a great example of an EDM-radio-friendly song with its airy vocals and poppy beat and bass.  It’s just fun, and that’s exactly what you need at a pregame.

9. Like a G6 by Far East Movement.  An oldie but still a goodie if ya ask me!  So easy to get ~slizzard~ to this one.  You’re going to sing along and remember when you used to blast this to get pumped before your high school semi-formal.

10. After Life by Tchami, Stacy Barthe.  This one’s a little heavier and feels more geared towards raging, but is reminiscent of Oliver Heldens’ bouncy beat.  Go ahead, take that last shot.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Top 10 Best Songs that Sum Up My New Zealand Trip

I’m finally back after having one of the best adventures of my life thus far: visiting one of my very best friends in New Zealand.  On our trip, we rented a car, planned a road trip 2 days before leaving for it, sand boarded (sand dune: 1, us: 0), Zorbed (see: hamster in a ball), soaked in a mineral hot springs, ate Tim Tams for dinner, met all different types of amazing people (special shout out to the English guy that looked like Dan from Bastille), hiked plenty (my butt and quads are thankful), almost got ran over multiple times while crossing the street (the one time looking to your left before you cross the street is a bad thing), and hung out with the coolest and friendliest Pacific Islanders.  Before arriving, I wasn’t really sure what exactly New Zealand would look like — I just imagined a whole lot of green and grass and my brother claimed there would be sheep left and right.  Turns out we were both right — grass and sheep and hills and mountains everywhere.  As you can imagine, truly good radio stations were hard to come by in the deep heart of the country.  Radio stations would go from playing R.E.M. (umm) to Backstreet Boys (#tbt) to Hozier (that’s more like it).  While this playlist will sound eclectic and the opposite of cohesive to others, this playlist of songs is more sentimental than anything.  It brings me back to a time of merry misadventures, simplicity, laughter, good vibes, friendship, and great memories.  When people ask how our trip was, it’s hard to explain every single thing to them, but this playlist does a pretty good job at summing it up:

1. Someone New by Hozier.  “Love with every stranger, the stranger the better”  There’s never been truer lyrics than this.  While we spent long hours on the road or walking in the most beautiful places, we realized how true this entire song is.  Arguably one of the best parts about traveling is the people you meet.  We also learned that it is, indeed, possible to “fall in love just a little bit with someone new” every day — from the guy we didn’t actually talk to but who gave us a 1000-mega watt smile when we let him cross the street to the couple/travel buddies we met who have been cycling the world for a little over 2 years.

2. Pompeii by Bastille.  “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?”  This song has so much sentimental meaning for us.  Bastille is one of Lauren’s favorite bands and hearing it on the radio as we just began our mini road trip seemed like a sign from God that this is exactly where we were meant to be.  So, yeah, we freaked out, choked on nostalgia, and almost shed a few tears when this song blared from the radio.

3. Ruketekete Te Mamae by Beau Monga.  So I actually have no idea what he’s saying for a majority of this song, but Beau Monga won the second season of X Factor New Zealand and is from the Cook Islands (where Lauren’s housemates were from aka “the coolest and friendliest Pacific Islanders”).  And, honestly, how can you listen to this song and not smile?

4. The Nights by Avicii.  “One day you’ll leave this world behind so live a life you will remember.”  Okay, so I lied earlier — these lyrics are just as true as Hozier’s “Someone New.”  We heard this on the radio and had so much fun screaming out the lyrics.  And then we actually paid attention to the lyrics and that’s when the feels hit us.  Here we were, two very best friends, in a foreign country together embarking on adventure after adventure without a worry in the world (besides whether or not we would get trench foot and/or athlete’s foot from having wet socks).  While we were hiking back down Mount Maunganui, we blared “The Nights” and deliriously half-danced, half-trotted back down the mount.

5. Let It Go by James Bay.  More like James BAE, am I right?!  NZ radio stations would always play this sweet, sweet song and of course we would swoon every time.  We also saw him about 2 days after we got back to the states in NYC and were definitely not disappointed!

6. The Wolf by Mumford & Sons.  So this song didn’t technically play all the time in NZ, but Mumford and NZ were made for each other.

7. You & Me – Flume Remix by Flume, Eliza Doolittle.  With Australia being so nearby, we had to play Flume at least once during our trip!

8. 7Eleven by Dexta Daps.  The awesome Cook Islanders Lauren lived with would play the best music during their drink-ups (aka parties) — they played music you can actually dance to and not just pump your fist to and bob your head to.  It’s safe to say we felt severely inadequate dancing in front of them though.

9. Buzzcut Season by Lorde.  It’s a must to listen to Lorde while in NZ!  When the radio was shitty and spotty, we played Lorde’s entire discography picking out our favorite lyrics from each of her songs.

10. Waiting For Love by Avicii.  I guess NZ really digs Avicii! This was just another fun, catchy song for us to scream/sing along to (with all the open space and high elevation, how could you resist?)

*Not mentioned because she’s not on Spotify: Taylor Swift — we played all of Tay’s old albums and discussed her lyrics in depth.  Things got surprisingly ~deep~.*

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Top 10 Best Songs for the Beach

There’s nothing quite like the slight breeze, the seashell and rock-filled sand (and possibly other junk if you’re in Atlantic City or Seaside), the sound of crashing waves, and the piercing sun (sensitive topic since I’m still suffering the effects of my first shoulder sunburn from two weeks ago).  It’s almost impossible to have any legitimate worries while at the beach (Zac Brown Band said it best) — it’s as if the salty air sneaks into your nervous system and works its destressing magic.  The only thing that can improve the experience is a playlist of sunny, relaxing tracks.  Anyway, you’ll probably need to blast these songs to drown out any bennies/shoobies:

beach 2

1. Shine by Donavon Frankenreiter.  You can rely on music from Donavon to be perfect for your beach trip considering he’s a surfer and a good friend of the prince of the beach, Jack Johnson.  In fact, this quirky guy’s debut album was released on Johnson’s Brushfire Records in 2004.

2. To The Sea by Jack Johnson.  Speaking of the prince of the beach — you can almost feel the salty sea water surround you as you listen to the sunny melodies of Jack Johnson.  This surfer/filmmaker/musician is in a state of perpetual chill vibes that eventually rubs off on you after listening to him for so long.

3. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley & The Wailers.  If Jack Johnson is the prince of the beach, then it’s only right that Bob Marley is king.  “Don’t worry about a thing/ ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right” — I agree 100%, but this may be hard when you have exceptional sunburn.

4. Thunder Clatter by Wild Cub.  It’s easy to smile and feel carefree with this track’s tropical indiepop undertones.

5. The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti & Spearhead.  This song’s a friendly reminder to remember to enjoy friends, sunshine, and life in general despite other worries.  “‘The Sound of Sunshine’ is a song about the sun’s ability to make any day better,” said Franti.  Ain’t that the truth.

6. I’m Good by The Mowgli’s.  “I’m good, I’m good, I’m good, I’m good/ Living life just like I should” — well, damn, if you’re at the beach, you’re definitely living life just like you should.

7. Lay Down by O.A.R.  Shout out to one of my favorite bands, especially when I was still a little nugget.  The combination of the guitar and drums give off the perfect summer vibes.  I mean, really, pretty much any other O.A.R. song has the same effect (listen to: “Hey Girl”).

8. Let’s Go Surfing by The Drums.  Wait are they saying “Obamaaa, I wanna go surfing”?  Nope, they’re actually saying: “Oh momma, I wanna go surfing” BUT actually, in an interview with NME, The Drums revealed that the 2008 presidential election, in which Barack Obama was elected president, was the inspiration behind the track.  “We actually wrote it on the day that Obama won the election, and everyone was so excited,” said guitarist Jacob Graham.  “The whole country had suffered eight years of feeling like we were in prison or something and then Obama came through and it was impossible not to get swept up with the whole nation, so that’s when we wrote ‘Let’s Go Surfing’,” he said.

9. 5 Years Time by Noah and The Whale.  “SUN, SUN, SUN” — This song is airy and just plain “fun, fun, fun” with sweet vocals and a playful ukulele in the background.

10. Om Shakti Om by Trevor Hall.  With the combination of the laid-back guitar, soulful percussion, and raspy but relaxed vocals, I bet you can’t not picture yourself in a tropical setting while listening to this track.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

10 Best Songs to Make You Feel Badass

Some days you need to be reminded that inside of you lives a rebellious badass that’s tatted up, in a motorcycle gang (what’s up, Jax Teller?), and only wears combat boots.  Or some days you just need a killer playlist to make you strut with your head held high.  Whatever day it may be, grab your leather jacket and wayfarers, and bump this percussion and guitar riff-heavy playlist to feel like the ultimate badass:

Michelle badass1. Nasty Freestyle by T-Wayne.  If you’re hopping out of a Porsche, you are most likely a badass.

2. Jungle by X Ambassadors, Jamie N Commons.  If that drum-clap pattern doesn’t make you feel tough, nothing will.

3. Sweet Talk by Kito, Reija Lee.  Currently signed to Mad Decent, the producer/singer duo originally from Perth, Australia delivers a perfect badass song with their blend of bass and vocals.  Aside from being featured in Victoria’s Secret 2013 Spring/Summer commercial, “Sweet Talk” was also sampled in Trinidad James’ single, “Females Welcomed.”

4. Elephant by Tame Impala.  Perfect for: the groovy badass.  Maintaining a classic rock guitar riff throughout the song, Tame Impala gives their take on “badass” by mixing it up with rhythmic retro/futuristic shifts in sound.

5. Howlin’ For You by The Black Keys.  Picture this: you and your squad walking strutting in one of those typical formations — preferably in slow motion.

6. Black Skinhead by Kanye West.  Can this be played every time I’m about to walk in a room to get people absolutely pumped for my arrival?!

7. Believe by The Bravery.  *Cue an exploding building in the background as you walk in slow motion.*

Stefan badass

8. Bad Girls by M.I.A.  THIS ONE’S FOR ALL THE BAD BITCHES.  “My chain hits my chest/ When I’m banging on the dashboard” — I don’t wear a chain and I don’t bang on the dashboard (that’s rude and annoying), but I identify so much with this song.

9. 99 Problems by Hugo.  Speaking of bitches, here’s a catchy cover of Jay Z’s “99 Problems” — the banjo and tambourine combo makes me want to duel someone Western style and trade in the combat boots for some tough cowboy boots.

10. Wicked Ones by Dorothy.  What makes this song so badass is its wicked heartbeat and raspy vocals.  “This night ain’t for the faint of heart, ‘cause the faint of heart gon’ fall apart,” sings Dorothy, obviously prepping you for whatever badass activity you’re up to.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

10 Best Songs from Governors Ball 2015

Since I went to Gov Ball days 1 and 3 this past weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to theme this week’s “10 Best Songs” post around Gov Ball — kind of like a festival recap.

When it comes to great music, Gov Ball is pretty much on point.  When it comes to the entire festival experience, though, Gov Ball is slacking.  Compared to other music festivals, Gov Ball seems like a series of diverse concerts thrown together in the park.  And sure, they might have tasty food trucks/stands and a super fun silent disco (who doesn’t love looking like an idiot?), but they lack that certain umph that makes the festival feel like, well, a festival.  Being held in a city that overflows with emerging artists, Gov Ball could easily feature various art installations that would totally be Insta’ed, which would add to Gov Ball’s festival cred and image.  Regardless, I still had so much fun at Gov Ball both this year and last.  Gov Ball has no where to go but waaay up (I’m saying this primarily to make a play off of Big Sean’s “Blessings”).  Here are my favorite songs from the weekend:

Gov Ball

1. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa by Vampire Weekend.  Unfortunately, Vampire Weekend wasn’t officially at Gov Ball this year. BUT Chromeo teased the crowd by playing the beginning chords of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” and then proceeded to bring Ezra Koenig on stage to perform the song.  It was AMAZING, and it definitely brought me back to Gov Ball 2014.  After, Chromeo played “I Could Be Wrong,” which Ezra is actually featured on — and if I’m being completely honest, I had no idea they even had a song together.

2. Jealous (I Ain’t With It) by Chromeo.  Chromeo is always so groovy, and when they played their hit, the entire crowd (even way back where I was) got funky and pulled their weirdest dance moves out with no judgment whatsoever.

3. Bloom by ODESZA.  It’s probably obvious by now that I may or may not be Odesza’s #1 fan so it will come as no shock that I loved their set. However, just like Coachella, they were stuck in a tent so I had no choice but to squeeze through the tight, sweaty crowd to get a little further in from the back to fully hear the set. Again, I wasn’t thrilled with the sound quality since it didn’t quite reach the back, but the duo was amazing as usual. To be fair, I had high standards for the quality of the performance since I saw Harrison and Clayton (yeah, we’re on a first-name basis now) play the night before at Rough Trade to a super intimate crowd of maybe 200 fans.  No matter how many times I see them, their live performance will never get old to me.  The energy at their Gov Ball performance was so palpable and quite possibly my favorite of the weekend.

4. What Kind of Man by Florence + The Machine.  I’m a sucker for heavy percussion so this song was definitely my favorite of her Gov Ball set. When I saw Flo last, it was at Coachella right after she broke her foot; due to her broken foot, she had to have a stripped performance, which was great, but kind of a downer since she always has the best stage presence with her electric energy.  This time, she didn’t hold back one bit.  Her performance was a mix of songs from Lungs, Ceremonials, and her newest album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.  I’m a huge fan of her old albums, but it was cool to hear her perform new songs, like “St. Jude” and “Ship to Wreck.”

5. Energy by Drake.  Talk about ENERGY when it comes to Drake’s performance.  Drake started and closed with “Legend” and boy is he a “motherfucking legend.”  He was just as amazing as he was at Coachella, but there was something about that Gov Ball/New York vibe that made his performance that much better.  Also, nice try, Drake, but you also said “this is the best festival crowd I’ve ever seen” and “I’ve never experienced a crowd like this before” at Coachella — I guess his acting gig on Degrassi really paid off.

6. You + Me (Remix) by Flume, Eliza Doolittle.  I didn’t go to Gov Ball day 2, so I wasn’t there for Flume’s set, but from what I’ve seen via Instagram video, it was absolute *fire emoji*.  If it was anything like his performance at Terminal5 that I was at last summer, I’m sure it was nothing short of amazing.

7. Elephant by Tame Impala.  I said this at Coachella too, but Tame Impala is definitely meant for people tripping on acid.  They just have a way of sending out those triply, groovy vibes.  It would’ve been a different experience if the band played at night though since it was a little hard to see their visuals in the daylight.

8. Get On Up by Big Gigantic.  I was pleasantly surprised by the successful blend of jazz and electronic music — the mix of saxophone, drums, and bass flowed naturally into one another.  I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the saxophonist is a D.I.L.F. (I don’t know if Dominic Lalli is actually a dad, but still).

9. Video Games by Lana Del Rey.  I’m a huge fan of Lana with her deep vocals and melancholy rhythms so I was stoked to see her perform.  In fact, she was a big part of why I decided to go back to Gov Ball on Day 3.  Her back drop was a sight, her outfit (a New York Yankees jersey dress) was on point, her hair was perfectly coiffed, her face was obscenely beautiful, and her voice was- well I’m not really sure.  For some odd reason, the sound was terrible at the Honda stage, and the crowds to the side of the stage and all the way back could hardly hear her.  From seeing other people’s Instagram videos who were closer to the stage, she sounded angelic.  But looking back at my own Snapchat story where I recorded Lana, I could only hear the people talking around me instead of the music.  However, every time I was able to hear tiny snippets of her singing, I was in love.

10. Little Black Submarines by The Black Keys.  Since I was at Lana for her entire performance, I sadly missed all my favorite Black Keys songs, like “Howlin’ for You,” “Gold on the Ceiling,” “Lonely Boy,” and “Gotta Get Away.”  However, ending Gov Ball weekend with “Little Black Submarines” just felt right.  Starting as a ballad that could almost pass as a lullaby, the song explodes with energy as it erupts into a full-on rock chorus heavy with guitar riffs and drums.  As we were all air guitar-ing, fireworks burst into the air right on cue to signify the end of a weekend filled with great friends and live music.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Top 10 Best Songs for an Intense Workout

It’s #BulkingSeason, and if you’re like me, you need all the motivation you can get to power through an intense workout.  Whether it’s during cardio and I need that extra push for 5 more minutes on the treadmill, or it’s lifting day and I need to get pumped to pump iron (5-pound weights count, right?) — I’ll always have an aggressive playlist blasting through my almost broken, off-white/brown-ish Apple headphones.  I don’t know if it’s just my gym that plays not-so-great music, but I don’t consider Echosmith or Jack Johnson to be workout music — love ’em both, but no, just no.  Release your inner juice head with this workout playlist:

Pitch perfect

1. Wild for the Night by A$AP Rocky, Skrillex, Birdy Nam Nam.  (“Okay, feelin’ good and strong!”) This mash-up is equal parts EDM and hip-hop with two artists who are at the top of their game in their respective genres.  The combination of Skrillex’s extraterrestrial, dubby beat and A$AP’s vocals gets at least an extra 8 minutes out of me (umm, maybe that’s pushing it actually) on the treadmill.

2. UFO – Trap Edit by Vigiland.  (“I wonder how many more songs there are until I’m done. Maybe like 5?”) The Swedish duo (was NOT a part of Swedish House Mafia — I’ll admit I sometimes categorize all DJs hailing from Sweden under the trio of super-DJs) remixed their electro house song and made it into a trap banger.  With this song playing, you can’t really tell if I’m shuffle-dancing or running.

3. Speakerbox by Bassnectar, Lafa Taylor.  (“Okay, after this song, I’m probably at least 10 minutes into the workout… right?!”) A part of Bassnectar’s latest 16-track mixtape, Into the Sun, “Speakerbox” is intense and straight-up aggressive.  I’m not a huge fan of Bassnectar, but this track’s rude beat and angry-sounding vocals amp me up and keep me going.

4. NRG (Skrillex, Kill the Noise, Milo & Otis Remix) by Duck Sauce.  (“Aw, this song’s nice and light and airy!”) Providing a little break from the almost hostile trap- and rap-heavy playlist, this song gives you some lighthearted NRG (lol).

5. Syclla by RL Grime.  (“SOS: my shorts are riding up.”) RL Grime serves up a main dish of trap with two extra sides of trap on this track.  This is what I’d consider a “dirty” beat.  As soon as the beat drops, this song gets your heartbeat going (ya know, as if it wasn’t already obnoxiously beating out of your chest, but hey, at least you’re burning extra calories?).

friends

6. ‘Till I Collapse by Eminem, Nate Dogg.  (“If I pretend I’m in Marine bootcamp right now, I can keep going until at least the end of this song.”) The stomp-stomp-clap beat made famous by Queen’s “We Will Rock You” will never get old to me.  Also, how much more perfect can this song get for a workout with its mini-motivational talk in the beginning: “‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired,/ Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up./ But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength/ And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up/ And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.” Dawww thanks, Eminem!

7. Born To Rage – USA Version by Dada Life.  (“I think I’m dying.”) These guys are straight up wild, and released 39 versions of “Born To Rage” based on which country you’re from.  It’s a huge anthem with a big beat that will definitely keep you going strong (I mean, it just doesn’t feel right to walk to this song).

8. Radio by Santigold.  (“I’m dripping. Wow, I sweat a lot… is this normal?”) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This track is pure (Santi)GOLD.

9. Turbulence – Radio Edit by Steve Aoki, Laidback Luke, Lil Jon.  (“Oh God, I don’t know if I can make it.”)  At this point in my workout, this intense banging beat is the only thing that can help me finish my workout strong.

10. 2AM (Matoma Remix) by Astrid S.  (“Oh thank sweet baby J — I’m done. I need to air out before I go back into the car.”)  The perfect cool-down song.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

10 Best Songs for a Late Night Drive

One of my favorite things about summertime (besides the beach, sunshine, and overall carefreeness of everything) is driving late at night.  The roads are mostly empty, making the drive 100x more relaxing (sometimes a little scary, but still — pretty relaxing).  The late hour, the lack of cars, the breezy summer air — all of it induces some quality late night deep thinking.  And while silence on a late night drive can sometimes be relaxing, I prefer certain types of music over others to keep me company.  Here are the perfect songs for a late night drive:

Night drive

1. Can’t Do Without You by Caribou.  A very easygoing, mindless song that semi-hypnotizes you to focus on that empty road (probably the best part of a late night drive).

2. Awake by Tycho.  I always use late night drives to just think- about anything and everything- so having a chill, catchy instrumental to act as background music to my racing thoughts helps.  Plus, this awesome beat keeps you “AWAKE” (too corny?).

3. Bloom by ODESZA.  If you couldn’t tell by now, I love a catchy, almost abstract-sounding beat while I drive at night.  This song’s perfect for those 1am vibes.

4. Gooey by Glass Animals.  Honestly, I can put this song on repeat for the whole drive home.  When this is on, you gotta roll those windows down, stick your arm out a bit, and feel the wind slip through your fingers to compliment the ~GrOoVy~ vibe of the song (but after, please put your arm back in the car — it freaks me out when people just dangle an arm out the window).  Side note: What is he actually saying in the song?  I always only just pick up on “little pooh bear” and “peanut butter vibes.”

5. Firestone by Kygo, Conrad Sewell.  Kygo can do no wrong.  Ugh, those steel-drum synths just get me every. single. time.

6. Manhattan by Kings of Leon.  This song screams nighttime drive to me.  That classic Kings of Leon alternative rock sound was pretty much made for driving between the hours of 10pm to 3am.

7. Midnight City by M83.  CLASSIC, AM I RIGHT?!

8. Nightcall by Kavinsky.  Fun Fact: This song was also featured in the title scene of Drive — how fitting.

9. Faded by Zhu.  Super catchy and super mysterious — this could also be because Zhu opts to remain anonymous with the request of being judged purely on his/her (most people refer to Zhu as a male, but hey, #GirlPower) music.

10. Intro by The xx.  Are you sick of all the instrumentals yet?

**BONUS: for those extra long night drives (also because it was too difficult to cut songs out of the playlist)**

11. Drop the Game by Flume, Chet Faker.  The combination of Chet Faker’s vocals and Flume’s beat is straight up *fire emoji*.

12. Peaches by In The Valley Below.  Never fails to get stuck in my head for hours.  This song combines sultry, smooth, brooding male-female vocals mixed with catchy, almost 80’s-sounding synth and rhythm.

13. Coffee by Sylvan Esso.  Suitable for more mellow late night drives packed with lots of deep thinking.  Please note: I nearly made a joke about this song acting as “coffee” in keeping you awake during a late night drive — I decided against it.

14. Sad Machine by Porter Robinson.  You could be the happiest person in the world, but Porter will still hit you with the feels.  Listening to this song while driving late at night will probably definitely make you the most sentimental person you’ve been in the past year.

15. Dead Air by CHVRCHES.  With a pop-y, synth-heavy beat and airy vocals, this song will definitely keep you awake whether it’s by accompanying your late nights thoughts or by you singing along to the catchy chorus (or at least trying to).

Stay tuned,

Roxanne