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(Credit: Far Out)


Far Out 40: Celebrating Summer Solstice with the ultimate garden playlist


Summer is now officially here, and for once, we have the sort of weather that doesn’t make a mockery of the solstice announcement. As Ralph Waldo Emerson – a man who knew a thing or two about the outdoors – once wrote: “Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink in the wild air.” Or simply pop into the garden, which given the post-pandemic way of living, many of us will do on a daily basis if the charging lead permits it.

In this sacred space, music comes into its own. However, it is not just any old music. Firstly, if you’re working while you whistle then the songs can be too abrasively distracting. Secondly, if you’re opting for a speaker over headphones then the music needs to match most tastes. Thirdly, the anthems have got to have the sweet lilt of sanguine summer.

We’ve applied these three golden rules to our Summer solstice, working from home, garden, bbq party, stroll around the park, etc, etc, sunshine playlist. Essentially, if you’re doing something outdoors then this playlist should fit the bill and offer up a dose of Vitamin D on ice.

From the sweet and soft sunshine poetry of Jonathan Richman regaling his favourite summer walk, to the emerging holiday soundtrack master Katy J Pearson, and some old fail-safe classics by Al Green, Paul McCartney, and Astrud Gilberto, if your neighbour complains about these wholesome gems then you ought to move out.

As John Steinbeck once wrote: “In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explodes, and every sunset is different.” Our firm advice would be to get out there and enjoy that bounty with the beauty of Big Search kicking things off with a cover for the ages and the spine-tingling tones of Ural Thomas welcoming you into the rest.

You can check out the playlist below. It’s gem if we say so ourselves. Enjoy…

The ultimate summer garden playlist:

  • ‘To Feel in Love’ – Big Search
  • ‘Smouldering Fire’ – Ural Thomas and the Pain
  • ‘Take It’ – Donnie & Joe Emerson
  • ‘Fazon’ – Jonathan Wilson
  • ‘Ridin’ in My Car’ – NRBQ
  • ‘Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey’ – Paul McCartney
  • ‘Dave’s Place’ – Bret McKenzie
  • ‘Let’s Stay Together’ – Al Green
  • ‘My Babe’ – Spoon
  • ‘Do You Believe in Magic’ – The Lovin’ Spoonful
  • ‘Take Back the Radio’ – Katy J Pearson
  • ‘Look Who’s Talking Now’ – Orlando Weeks
  • ‘One Fine Sumner Morning’ – Evie Sands
  • ‘Twilight in Boston’ – Jonathan Richman
  • ‘Observatory Crest’ – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
  • ‘It’s Not Easy’ – Ofege
  • ‘Magazine’ – Toro y Moi, Salami Rose Jose Louis
  • ‘Can You Get To That’ – Mavis Staples
  • ‘Texas Sun’ – Khruangbin, Leon Bridges
  • ‘Seabird’ – Alessi Brothers
  • ‘Ballad of Easy Rider’ – The Byrds
  • ‘Redondo Beach’ – Patti Smith
  • ‘The First Picture of You’ – The Lotus Eaters
  • ‘Ride a White Swan’ – T. Rex
  • ‘Outdoor Miner’ – Wire
  • ‘Lazy’ – X-Press 2, David Byrne
  • ‘The Ecstasy of Dancing Fleas’ – Penguin Café Orchestra
  • ‘Suzanne’ – Nina Simone
  • ‘Sunblind’ – Fleet Foxes
  • ‘I Must Be in a Good Place Now’ – Bobby Charles
  • ‘Mucho Mungo / Mt. Elga’ – Harry Nilsson
  • ‘Suddenly’ – Drugdealer, Weyes Blood
  • ‘Sweet Thing’ – Van Morrison
  • ‘Suzanne’ – Bermuda Triangle
  • ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ – Astrud Gilberto
  • ‘Summer Girl’ – HAIM
  • ‘Under the Sun’ – DIIV
  • ‘In the Morning Light’ – Mapache
  • ‘Breathless’ – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • ‘My Lady’s On Fire’ – Ty Segall