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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

After years of searching, I have stumbled upon my perfect plethora of no-skip summer anthems

This is currently the cover photo for my ever-growing summer playlist, a reminder of the many memories to come this season.

Every year, I set aside time just prior to school ending for one, exemplary task: editing my summer music playlist. 

With an accumulation of close to two days of music crafted together over the past couple of years, I take much pride in meticulously creating a playlist that my friends and I can all enjoy, regardless of the time or location.

With an accumulation of close to two days of music crafted together over the past couple of years, I take much pride in meticulously creating a playlist that my friends and I can all enjoy, regardless of the time or location.

And while it is highly unlikely that I may ever make it all through my seemingly endless soundtrack that paints the narrative for many of my summer memories, there are a few distinguished tracks, genres, and albums that I will never press skip on. 


While every year comes a newly crafted variety of what I have cultivated to be the “perfect summer songs,” there seems to always be a genre that has successfully managed to claim the number one spot on all of my expansive summertime playlists: R&B. A duplex genre in itself, I have found that this category of music is malleable enough to create the perfect soundtrack for all the conviviality that summer has to offer. 

Some of the front-runner artists I have featured are Kali Uchis and Frank Ocean, the latter of whose album channel ORANGE—whose timeless phenomenalism has lingered since its release in 2012—brings an archetypal surrealism that, when accompanied by Ocean’s masterful melodies and silky voice, is a staple album for summer break. I, for one, always make sure that the tracks “Thinkin Bout You,” and “Super Rich Kids (feat. Earl Sweatshirt”) are included on my July trips to Lake Michigan, followed by an evening of “Pink Matter (feat. Andre 3000)” and “Pyramids.” 

My favorite R&B artist, however, is SZA, whose 2017 album, CTRL, remains my epitome of perfection. The dreamy, ruminative aura that SZA brings to this album perfectly encapsulates the ambiance of a misty summer’s day. Tracks like “Normal Girl” and “Pretty Little Birds” not only showcase SZA’s pensive lyricism but also her stunning vocals that shine through in both of these sultry ballads. On a more profound note, the songs “20 Something” and “Supermodel” showcase the artist’s soulful crooning, while the tracks “Prom” and “Broken Clocks” carry an upbeat, buoyant tempo. All four songs are quintessential to a windows-down, late-night drive with friends after a sun-kissed afternoon by the pool.

Regardless of where or when one might find themselves tuning in, the duality of not only this album but of the R&B genre in general is perfect for both a hot sunny day of basking by the beach or a tranquil rainy afternoon indoors. 


While I do not consider myself to be much of an alternative music junkie, I can admit that—with the help of a few friends and one notable Netflix show—an eminent amount of alternative music has slowly crept into my summer playlist over the past few years. And to be borne in mind, while I am by no means cultured in this genre of music, I have found that there are some remarkable songs from this categorization that certainly supplement my playlist.  

A considerable portion of alternative music that I’ve stumbled upon were songs that I found from the popular young adult TV show, Outer Banks, which is arguably one of the most summer-encapsulating series of the past few years. Much akin to the cavalier, estival nature of its episodes, the soundtrack is a plethora of alternative gems. My personal favorite from this collection is “Where’d All the Time Go?” by Dr. Dog, a wistful avant-garde that captures the nostalgia of growing older and wishing to keep the fleeting moments of feeling unrestrained from slipping away. Another one of my top picks of this genre is the catchy main theme for Outer Banks, “Left Hand Free,” a song whose popularity is most definitely deserved for its attention-grabbing twanging guitars, elongated synths, and bluesy vocals. 

A few other songs that come to my attention when discussing this season’s cant-miss selections include “Walking On a Dream” and “We Are the People” by Empire of the Sun, two electronic dance songs that are pliant enough to not only fit into multiple different genres but also bring a blend of bewitching falsettos and captivating melodies that set the backtrack for many of my sunrise-to-sunset summer days.


I will admit; pop music is not for everyone. 

While much of my childhood was laid on a musical foundation of Hannah Montana songs, now-bittersweet One Direction, and a feverishly adamant two-month obsession with “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepson, my brother, for example, does not care for the same early 2010’s pop anthems that used to dominate so much of my playlist. There are some exceptions, however, as some songs have seemed to never grow old, regardless of how much time passes. 

At the top of this pop-music pyramid is Katy Perry, the mastermind behind the music taste of 4-10-year-old me. Sitting on the porch eating a red-white-and-blue Popsicle while bopping along to “California Girls” or “Teenage Dream” was quickly a tradition I had cemented into my summertime routine. And while it has been a long time since I got my hands on one of those patriotic desserts, any time I hear a chart-topping track like “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” or “Firework,” I am transported back to summers spent biking around my neighborhood or jumping around on my trampoline as a younger child. 

As the days before the long-awaited summer vacation reach into the single digits, I am constantly reminded of the significance of music in shaping some of my most memorable experiences. Whether it’s the sultry rhythms of R&B, the nostalgia-tinged sounds of alternative, or the upbeat anthems of pop, each song has its own unique ability to transport me to a specific moment or memory. Above all, as I look forward to the long-awaited summer vacation, I am happy to know that it will provide the soundtrack for countless memories with friends and family.

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About the Contributor
Kathryn Campbell
Kathryn Campbell, Staff Writer

Kathryn Campbell is a freshman entering her first year on The Central Trend. When she’s not at school, you can find her playing competitive ice hockey for Fox Motors Hockey Club. She has just completed her 6th year playing travel soccer and hopes to compete for the high school this spring. Her other hobbies include listening to music, writing, and hanging out with her friends. She is very enthusiastic about her next four years of high school and plans to make as many memories as she can. She is especially excited about all that awaits her in room 139.

Her favorite album: SOS by SZA Her lucky number: 4 Her go-to animated movie: Hercules Her favorite holiday: Christmas  

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