Country music is one of those sweet spots where culture and great music come together to form a tight-knit genre that goes great over a boat ride in the sound or from the back of a pickup truck while mud-bogging. It’s easy going nature and melodic riffs make it ideal for the background of your 2016 summer.
So instead of waiting for the radio to come to you, grab your Spotify or iTunes account and get together this playlist for the next evening ride for milkshakes, long day laying in the sun at the beach or even for the first date of what is sure to be your #1 romance.
- Wasted Time – Keith Urban
Urban’s hold on the country world is no mistake. His tunes just speak to the masses, and they definitely speak to me. Throw in an adorable video of wife Nicole Kidman jamming out, and this latest hit from our favorite Aussie is the kind to turn the stereo up to and just jam out like nobody’s watching.
- Die A Happy Man – Thomas Rhett
Rhett’s got country music in his blood. he’s the son of country royalty, Rhett Akins, and it’s plainly evident in this feel good tune he wrote for his wife. This breakout star was a big success at this year’s CMT awards, and it’s clear that this summer song is just the beginning of long career serenading us through our hottest and favorite season.
- Summer – Cassadee Pope
With that title, you can’t get any more obvious: this one is for the summer. Taking us on a classic seasonal story of love, Pope delivers that feel good vibe that belongs on the beach, in a truck and everywhere in between. Even if you’re out of that young sweetheart age group, this tune is for you because summer love never gets old.
- Night’s On Fire – David Nail
With a sweet infusion of pop and rock guitar, “Night’s On Fire” is your anthem for Friday night as you’re getting ready to head out for a night that’s full of endless possibilities. Cruising down main, heading for the dance floor or just a seat at the bonfire with friends, this is the perfect tune to get you in the summer appreciation mood.
- Head Over Boots – Jon Pardi
This guitar opening and simple, slow one (a little reminiscent of Brooks and Dunn) will take you from the lonely guy at the bar to the dance floor twirling with a dance partner. And who wouldn’t want a little bit more of that in their lives? The nostalgic video draws on old country favorites (those vests!).
- Peter Pan – Kelsea Ballerini
The latest single from country music’s current It Girl is full of whimsy while pulling those sweet spot chords into a big song that feels as good at the line dance as it does belting on your own while driving down the driveway. A little retrospective and a little Swift (if you forgive the comparison), this song may be a heartbreak song, but it’s going to be a huge heartbreaker hit as well.
- Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Everyday – Luke Bryan
What country boy and girl doesn’t love a good summer day “huntin’” and “fishin’” and even just a little bit of “lovin’?” Getting into tune with this song is easier than throwing a line or sitting in a deer stand, so just turn on the radio and get hooked on the clean country vibe from genre favorite Luke Bryan.
- Shut Up & Fish – Maddie & Tae
There’s plenty of play in Maddie & Tae’s “Shut Up & Fish,” which is precisely the way they like it. In the vein of Shania, Carrie and Reba, this lighthearted song has humor written all over it and is going to be one that you end up singing by the lake (and in the shower). Check out their video (it’s definitely a cute one), and then do as the girls say and just shut up and fish!
- I Like the Sound of That – Rascal Flatts
For me, Rascal Flatts are a country favorite, and there’s not a single tune of theirs that I haven’t fallen in love with, which makes it no surprise that “I Like the Sound of That” landed on my summer tune list. Talk about stepping back from the hectic world for a chance to relax in the arms of an old friend, I can totally get into the vibe of taking a break and just getting an opportunity to be with someone back from the past.
- Somewhere On a Beach – Dierks Bentley
Dierks’ video—featuring a pristine beach, a couple of beers and a tourist who looks like he needs to let go a little bit—spells exactly what the song and 2016 summer need: a beautiful getaway. While the song suggests Bentley is leaving a lover for the last time in favor of the beach, you don’t need any hard feelings or break up drama to enjoy this “perfect for the beach” tune.
- Florida Georgia Line – H.O.L.Y.
A long sweet song from one of country’s favorite duos, Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard are at it again with a tune to make us fall even further in love. Perfect for date night after you’ve said those three magic words—or maybe to help you say them—this song will get stuck in your head and stay there.
- Next Boyfriend – Lauren Alaina
Country music has a long standing tradition where female singers get to make as much fun and hassle as many relationships as the guys do, which is a relief for the much-lacking pop genre that didn’t get on the bandwagon for many years. “Next Boyfriend” by Lauren Alaina is one such upbeat song—just a girl ready to meet the next guy on her list and make him hers.
Whether it’s a hot day outside, a cool day inside or maybe the perfect weather to watch a thunderstorm from a porch swing, this playlist is the one for country lovers looking for their next listen and the best summer yet. Grab them all on iTunes, or in a great Spotify playlist. International listeners don’t worry! Get rid of the geo-location lock here, and just play it all out until it’s fall. There’s just no other way to learn all the lyrics and enjoy a good country summer.
About the Author: Caroline is an entertainment and technology blogger who enjoys a good country tune more than anyone. She hopes this playlist will make your summer days, or nights, that much better. You can find her on Twitter at: @CultureCovC