The cooler is stocked, you have your sunglasses, your towel hangs over the armrest. Everyone climbs in the car and rolls their windows down. Who has good enough taste to be on the aux for the next few hours?
Good road trip music is crucial to keeping spirits up on long car rides, and luckily, Vox has some ideas to get you started — whether you’re going to the lake, across the country or just around the block to a backyard barbecue.
1. If you’re looking for some indie rock: Hold My Home by Cold War Kids
Its mix of mellow and upbeat tunes are sure to be just right for the midway marker on a road trip when the sun is beating down and the breeze is blowing through the windows. If you’re staying in town, catch the band at Rose Park for Summerfest on June 7.
2. If you’re looking for roots rock: Green River by Creedence Clearwater Revival
There are few album openers as get-on-the-highway-and-go as the eponymous Green River. These jams were meant to be played on a hot drive to the lake.
3. If you’re looking for bluegrass and country: From a Room, Volume 1 by Chris Stapleton
The deep twang of Stapleton’s voice and his guitar is one heady mix. This album is ideal for longer trips. Headed west? Queue this up. When it ends, Volume 2 has even more to offer.
4. If you’re looking for iconic '80s rock: Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen
Going to your hometown to relive the glory days? Throw your feet on the dash, open the sunroof and turn up the volume.
5. If you’re looking for a little bit of reggae, jazz and funk: The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti & Spearhead
Steel drums and the salty air. That’s the only thing you need when you’re driving to the beach, right? This album is a 2010 throwback, but Franti has come out with two more albums since then, so there’s more where this came from.
6. If you’re looking for (more) country: California Sunrise by Jon Pardi
When the seats are leaning back and the sunset’s in the rearview, there’s nothing quite like the sound of guitars being strummed and rhythmic drums to get your head bobbing. If you want the real California Sunrise experience, Pardi will be on Ninth Street for Summerfest on July 19.
7. If you’re looking for new hard rock: From the Fires by Greta Van Fleet
Your pin is climbing closer to your destination on the GPS, you just stopped for gas and refilled the melting ice in your cooler. The excitement is tangible, and this album is sure to get everyone’s hair down during the final stretch.