A woman's hand touched a flower

Music can help people process hard things like  grief, overwhelm or loneliness. The Darling playlist series was created to help you during this time of quarantine. We hope to use music to bring you a little hope today.

Almost every Memorial Day in my lifetime has been spent at the lake with my family. From the time I was small, many of my best memories have happened on the water: Getting flung off the inner-tube with my cousins, fishing and snacking on chocolate cake on the dock, eating supper at 9 p.m. and playing cards until someone got mad and quit because they lost.

We ate watermelon, and inevitably, we forgot how much we needed to reapply our sunscreen. We woke up early so we could get smooth water to wakeboard before the beginning-of-summer crowds packed out the lake. It typically marked the first weekend of summer for my mom, a high school teacher, and was for us grandkids, the last few days of school.

It only seemed right to celebrate summer’s welcomed approach by living the same way we would for the next 12 weeks: unbrushed hair, sun-kissed skin, time together at our favorite place and good music that reminded us of summer. Our summer soundtracks were always a mix of a little bit of country and pop, things that reminded us of our childhoods spent on the water. 

Memorial Day will likely look a little different this year. Perhaps it feels as though summer started right after spring break because kids were suddenly at home. Maybe your big summer kick-off celebration can’t happen or your annual summer trip had to be canceled. No matter what, there is still much to celebrate with the arrival of a new season, and I hope that these songs will make you remember just how wonderful and free summertime can feel.

There is still much to celebrate with the arrival of a new season.

You can also find this playlist on Darling’s Spotify here.

Rollercoaster — Jonas Brothers 

Up Top — Busty and the Bass

Here Comes the Sun — The Beatles

Watermelon Sugar — Harry Styles 

19 You + Me — Dan + Shay

Shotgun — George Ezra

Feels Like Summer — Childish Gambino 

Ruin That for Me — Avenue Beat

Your Love — The Outfield

Wildfire — John Mayer 

Summer Time Romance — Johnnyswim

Wouldn’t It Be Nice — The Beach Boys

Feel So Close — Calvin Harris

Shut Up and Dance — WALK THE MOON 

Living — Dierks Bentley 

The Other Side — SZA, Justin Timberlake

Smooth Sailin’ — Leon Bridges

Summer Feelings — Lennon Stella ft. Charlie Puth

Lifting the Sea — The Hunts

Honeybee — The Head and the Heart

What are your favorite songs to mark the warmer weather and changing seasons? Let us know in the comments below.

Image via Chaunté VaughnDarling Issue No. 12

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