Songs of Summer Vol. 1

We asked incoming first years from the Tufts Class of 2020 to create playlists that embodied their summer. Here are two of the best.


Madeleine Clarke

For me, summer is grasping onto a limitless freedom, the independence in a set of keys, a car, and a never-ending road. Summer is a sweaty brow. It is dirty feet, itchy mosquito bites, and scraped knees. It is being out of breath, and smiling so much your jaw hurts.

Summer and its accompanying music (in particular, these fifteen songs) make me feel free, and provide me an opportunity to live life to its fullest.

The songs in this playlist include both ones that I have loved for years and ones that I have discovered this summer. They range from R&B to Acoustic; from Electronic to a weird psychedelic Pop ballad (“An Eluardian Instance” by Of Montreal) that I fell in love with in 9th grade. There are some (“Downtown” Majical Cloudz, “Drive” by Milo) that I like to listen to while riding my bike at night (a potentially dangerous but blissfully serene alone time), and there are some (“Probably Nu It” by Tree, “PULL UP” by Abra, “Best to You” by Blood Orange) that I like to listen to a little too loudly while I drive a little too fast. But no matter how different the songs are, they all leave me with the same feeling I get when I step out of cold, stuffy air conditioning into the warm embrace of a summer day – the sensation of unfettered freedom and infinite opportunity.


Yoji Wantanabe

Beyond the crowded pools and comfortable lack of layers, summer is a time for exploring all those things we had so little time for during the year. For some, that means going into that abandoned house they always drove past coming back from work; for others, that means taking up a hobby that they never seemed to have enough time to delve into – for me, it means 100 bus-hours traveling through my home country, Brazil.

My playlist is a mix of songs shown to me on my trip by both locals and other travelers, alongside some personal jams. Beyond Brazilian music, it also features French and American songs; reggae to anti-folk; classic and contemporary. The haphazard collection is like Brazil’s eclectic way of life – a potpourri of the best other cultures have to offer.

Save this playlist for of offline listening: make your way down to the beach, order yourself a cachaça, and feel the brisa with some fresh jams.


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