Summer 2013 Southern Playlist

Countdown Summer

We asked music writer Rachael Maddux to curate a playlist of Southern-bred tunes that you’ll want to listen to on repeat all summer. From upbeat rock songs to play while cruising around town on a sunny day to melodic ballads for kicking back on the porch, these songs will be your soundtrack for the season. Turn it up.

By: Rachael Maddux

Atlanta, Georgia
Song: “Rooting for the Underdog” by Gentleman Jesse & His Men off Leaving Atlanta Sounds like: Headstrong garage rock from a dude less mannered than his name suggests

Auburn, Alabama
Song: ”A Charm/ A Blade” by Phosphorescent off Muchacho
Sounds Like: Although he has decamped to Brooklyn, Matthew Houck still shows his Southern roots on this raggedy romp

Austin, Texas
Song: “Marathon” by Heartless Bastards off Arrow
Sounds Like: A languid, sun-dappled charmer led along by the gloriously yowling Erika Wennerstrom.

Birmingham, Alabama
Song: “Sugar Dyed Honey Pants” by St. Paul and the Broken Bones off Greetings From St. Paul and the Broken Bones
Sounds Like: Retro soul from an energetic, battered-’n-fried six piece

Florence, Alabama
Song: “Let There be Lonely” by The Secret Sisters off their new yet-to-be-named album
Sounds like: Laura and Lydia Rogers keep heartfelt harmonies, trade up on richer country-rock production

Franklin, Tennessee
Song: “Daydreaming” by Paramore off Paramore
Sounds like: Pop-punk wunderkind Hayley Williams grows up, sharpens hooks, digs in

Golden, Texas
Song: “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves off Same Trailer Different Park
Sounds like: Country’s new rebel sweetheart lays out her devil-may-care, catchy-as-hell mantra

Johnson City, Tennessee
Song: “Another Man” by Jill Andrews off The Mirror
Sounds like: Unheralded queen of heart-break offers a jaunty preview of her next big mistake

Birmingham, Alabama
Song: “Lips & Limbs” by Waxahatchee off Cerulean Salt
Sounds like: Twenty-something malaise rendered into jangly rock that sounds like drinking beer and skipping stones on the Alabama lake the band  is named after

Chapel Hill, North Caroline
Song: “Younger Days” by Mount Moriah off Miracle Temple
Sounds like: Shimmering like hot pavement in August, an ode to small town life and the ones that get away

Chapin, South Carolina
Song: “Baby Center Stage” by Iron and Wine off Ghost on Ghost
Sounds like: Pedal steel and honeyed brass, nudge whiskery folkmaster Sam Beam towards a bigger, broader sound

Charleston, South Carolina
Song: “Keeper” by Shovels & Rope off O’ Be Joyful  
Sounds like: Sly, sticky dive-bar country rock from husband-and-wife team Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst

Knoxville, Tennessee
Song: “You Ain’t Dolly (And You Ain’t Porter)” by Ashley Monroe feat. Blake Shelton off Like a Rose
Sounds like: An old-school tete-a-tete between one of Nashville’s biggest stars and one of its brightest new ones

Nashville, Tennessee
Song: “Honey” by Torres off Torres
Sounds like: A guitar-crunched contemplation on faltering love, swirling up as slow and dark as a July thunderhead

New Orleans
Song: “Little Black Star” by Hurray For The Riff Raff off Look Out Mama
Sounds like: A zydeco-folk romp through alligator-infested swamps with Alynda Lee Segarra and her rag-tag compatriots

Richmond, Virginia
Song: “Steady Pace” by Matthew E. White off Big Inner
Sounds like: A cosmically chill, avant-Americana vibe summoned by a guy with style to spare

Download the playlist on Spotify. And for more tips to making the most out of the season—including the best cocktail to make, beach bag essentials, and insider tips to 10 of the South’s biggest cities—check out our Summer in the South guide


  1. Linda Kessler Goodhue

    ❤ St.Paul and the Broken Bones

    May 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm

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